NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — US Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III has landed in New Delhi, marking his ninth official visit to the Indo-Pacific. Welcomed by Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Austin’s goal is to strengthen defense ties, enhance interoperability, and foster innovation between the two nations.

The highlight of the visit will be the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue co-chaired by Austin and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken alongside their Indian counterparts. The talks are expected to cover a range of strategic, defense, and technology issues, reflecting the growing partnership between India and the US.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said he was “glad to receive my friend and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at Palam, New Delhi. Looking forward to fruitful deliberations during 2 Plus 2 Ministerial Dialogue and the bilateral meeting to be held tomorrow.”

While global issues like the Ukraine war and Israel-Hamas conflict are likely to be on the agenda, both sides are anticipated to focus on expanding defense and security cooperation. Notable collaborations include General Electrics’ agreement with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to manufacture GE-414 jet engines in India and the acquisition of 31 MQ-9B Reaper drones from the US.

The visit follows significant milestones in defense industrial cooperation, with the release of the India-U.S. Defense Acceleration Ecosystem roadmap, emphasizing cooperation on intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, undersea domain awareness, air combat, and more.

Austin’s trip to India is part of a broader regional engagement, as he will also travel to South Korea and Indonesia. The tour underscores the commitment of the US and its allies in addressing pivotal issues in the Indo-Pacific, with a focus on peace, stability, and prosperity.