In 2016, the United States designated India as a "major defense partner," and since then, the two countries have signed agreements that facilitate transfers of top-grade arms and deepen military cooperation.
The United States and India will co-develop drones, a senior Pentagon official said Thursday, as Washington seeks closer ties with Delhi as a way of countering China.
India will build these aircraft and export them to other countries in its region, this official said.
Delhi wants to diversify its weaponry, which is mainly Russian-made, and also to develop its own defence industry.
"And we want to support India on both fronts and are doing so," Eli Ratner, assistant secretary of defence for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told a group of reporters and defence experts.