Mr Carter described the relationship as the result of a strategic and technological “handshake” between the two largest democracies in the world.
“America’s regional partnerships are growing in number and strength. The US-India military relationship is the closest it ever been,” Mr Carter said. He was speaking aboard US warship USS Carl Vinson in San Diego on Thursday.
He also said that the two countries were re-balancing their diplomatic relationship and strategic priorities. He noted that the two countries had never before conducted air, land and sea military exercises together.
“There is a technological handshake between the United States and India. The US-India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make In India campaign helping both countries moved towards diverse defence co-development and co-production of weapon systems,” Mr Carter said.
Noting that the Asia-Pacific region remains strategically most important for America’s future, he said that the US is managing “historic change” in the region.