Washington: As a follow up to President Barack Obama’s November visit to India, the US is mulling over encouraging its economic and defence partnership with India, according to a senior administration official.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South Asia, Geoffrey Pyatt said on Friday that the United States wants to make the most of the opportunities offered by the 'notable results of the President's trip', in the weeks and months to come.

He was speaking on 'The Regional and Global Impact of the US-India Strategic Partnership’ at the Emerging India Summit at Emory University in Atlanta.

'The challenge now before us is to define an agenda for both governments that capitalizes on what we have achieved and meets the ambitious vision agreed by' Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said.

Describing defence cooperation as 'a critical cornerstone of the bilateral relationship' Pyatt said that with India expected to spend nearly $45 billion on military modernisation over the next five years, the US welcomed opportunities to offer India superior technology.
He noted two American aircraft, the F/A 18 Super Hornet and F-16IN Viper, are among the contenders in the competition to provide Indian Air Force 126 frontline Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft, or MMRCA.

'The US proposals will dramatically enhance India's own aerospace industrial base and defence capabilities and demonstrate our commitment to share with India cutting edge technologies - including the only operationally-mature AESA radar,' Pyatt suggested.

The US was also actively working to elevate its government-to-government economic partnership with India to be commensurate with their robust global strategic partnership.

'US-India economic cooperation has been a driver of our transformed bilateral relationship, and in many ways is the decisive factor behind India's changing place in the international system,' he said.