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USIBC Launches 12th Executive Defense Mission to Aero India 2013 to Deepen U.S.-India Defense & Security Partnership

The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) today launched its 12th landmark Executive Defense Mission to Aero India 2013, signaling the deepened defense and security partnership between the United States and India. The Executive Mission, led by Lt. General Jeff Kohler (Ret.), Vice President, Boeing Military Aircraft, and Vice Admiral (Ret.) Kevin J. Cosgriff, Senior Vice President, International Business & Government, Textron Systems, brings the largest industry delegation to Aero India 2013, and is comprised of senior executives from America’s premier aerospace & defense companies. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is the host and organizer for Aero India 2013 and is USIBC’s partner on the ground.

Lt. General (Ret.) Kohler and Vice Admiral (Ret.) Cosgriff expressed optimism towards the growing defense partnership, and noted the maturing partnership between the two countries’ defense industries. “India’s defense modernization requirements and capacity building measures are vast, and reflect a growing need to secure critical infrastructure assets and defend sizeable borders, while securing their economic growth. In meeting many of these requirements, U.S. industry leads the way in offering the most advanced technology with long-term support for the multitude of systems offered,” said Kohler.

“In addition to offering proven U.S. platforms and systems and an end-to-end commitment to customer satisfaction, we are eager to initiate cooperative programs with India’s defense industry in order to take advantage of Indian Industry’s engineering talent, growing production capability, and regional expertise,” Cosgriff said in a statement.

Senior executives representing America’s top defense companies, including ATK, BAE Systems Inc, Bell Helicopter, Boeing, DuPont, Exelis, FLIR, General Electric, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp, Harris, Honeywell, L-3 Aviation Products, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Rockwell Collins, Sikorsky, Textron Systems, Telephonics Corporation, Tyco, and many others, will be present at Aero India 2013. The United States has again brought the single largest industrial delegation to the show.

U.S. industry will showcase advanced capabilities geared towards India’s air, land, naval, and internal security systems needs. On display will be a USAF variant of the recently acquired C-17 heavy-lift aircraft, C-130J Super Hercules, F-16, KC-135, and other best-in-class systems from U.S. industry, such as armored security and light combat vehicles, tactical communications equipment, integrated weapons systems, thermal imaging technologies and network munitions systems.

“We have seen a tremendous evolution and maturation of our bilateral defense relationship over the past decade alone. Our presence here today transcends business and speaks to our commitment to meeting India’s defense modernization and capacity building requirements. Recent U.S. offerings to India, including heavy-lift and transport aircraft, Sensor Fuzed Weapons, advanced maritime surveillance aircraft, attack helicopters, and light towed howitzers all speak to a high level of trust and cooperation between our two countries. Furthermore, our companies have made significant progress in partnering with local Indian industry at all levels, which enhances our commercial strategic partnership,” said Ron Somers, President of USIBC.

Referring to the advanced bilateral security ties, Mr. Somers also said that “the U.S. has consistently offered India the best-in-class capabilities across all defense and security dimensions, broadening the areas in which our two Governments, militaries, and industries cooperate.” Defense sales, which have risen from just over $200 million in 2001, have increased to over $14 billion today. “This remarkable growth in defense sales translates to thousands of high-skill jobs being created both in India and the United States, making it a 'win-win' for both countries.”

The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) was formed in 1975 at the request of the United States and Indian governments to advance two-way trade and deepen commercial ties. Today, USIBC is the premier business advocacy association comprised of nearly 400 of America’s and India’s top companies dedicated to enhancing the U.S.-India commercial relationship. Ajay Banga, President and CEO of MasterCard serves as chairman of USIBC.

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