The Senate Armed Services Committee issued such a direction to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in its National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2013-2014, which was passed last week.

The move comes at a time, when the Obama Administration has submitted a list of state of the art defense technologies for transfer or export to India, which could be used for joint development and co-production of high-tech military hardware.

Passing the NDAA, the Senate Armed Services Committee said it supports the continued and growing bilateral security relationship between the US and India, which includes the expansion of defense trade.

"Defense trade with India supports both countries and highlights the significance of US-India cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region," the Armed Services Committee said.

The objective of the Department of Defense's (DOD) Defense Trade Initiative (DTI) with India is to nurture increased US defense exports to India, it said.

The committee noted that DTI has had mixed results and encourages the Pentagon to continue its efforts to streamline business processes to make India-US defense trade and collaboration simpler, responsive and effective.

"Accordingly, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with other departments and agencies, as appropriate, to provide the congressional defense and foreign affairs committees a classified briefing, no later than October 1, 2014, on the technologies that are currently being considered or may be considered for export to India, including pending or completed reforms of export controls to facilitate DTI," said the Armed Services Committee.

About 10 months ago, the then Deputy Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, had submitted to the then UPA regime a comprehensive list of defense systems, which the United States was ready to co-develop and co-produce with India.

The US is yet to receive a response from India.

Last month, US Defense Secretary Hagel directed the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Frank Kendall to lead the US-India Defense Trade and Technology Initiative with the new Indian government.

Started during the previous UPA regime, Defense Trade and Technology Initiative is aimed at removing bureaucratic bottlenecks in defense trade between India and US.

It was also called Carter-Menon initiative as the Indian side was led by former National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon.

Hagel said he plans to play an active and very personal role in expanding this initiative because it is a centerpiece of America's defense cooperation with India.

“It should reflect the trust and confidence President (Barack) Obama and I have in our nation's relationship with India," he said.

"To reinforce this effort – and to drive even more transformational cooperation – I hope to visit India later this year," Hagel said.

(Agencies)

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