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Indian Navy's helicopter pilots to be trained in US

India and United States have agreed to implement a training program for Indian pilots in Helicopter Operations from Ships other than Aircraft Carriers to strengthen maritime security in Indian Ocean and Pacific regions where the Indian navy is expected to play a large role in the near future

Landing and take-off of helicopters from wide bodied aircraft carriers are a easy task for helicopter pilots but the same cannot be said of other ships where they need to manoeuvre a lot to land and take off

The decision to train Indian helicopter pilots in this task was taken by Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her US Counterpart Jim Mattis during their meeting in Philippines on October 25 on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus.

"The two leaders emphasized the importance of strengthening maritime security cooperation, and, in support of this objective, decided to implement the program for Helicopter Operations from Ships other Than Aircraft Carriers (HOSTAC)," according to US Defense ministry Pentagon.

Sitharaman and Mattis "agreed on the importance of a rules-based international order" in which all nations are able to prosper, and the "need to work together" against the common threat of terrorism.

They discussed a range of initiatives to strengthen US- India defense cooperation and enhance India's leadership role in the Indo-Pacific. The US defense Secretary Mattis had travelled to India late last month and had discussions with Indian leaders on the current situation in Afghanistan and its neighbourhood.

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