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Captain K. Swaminathan, CO of INS Vikramaditya presents a memento to Ashton Carter onboard the ship.

Karwar/New Delhi: The United States Defence Secretary Ashton Carter began the official leg of his India trip when he landed at Karwar Naval Base on Monday.

Accompanied by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and other officials, Carter then headed to INS Vikramaditya to hold their first round of talks.

Ministry of Defence (MoD) released an official photograph showing Parrikar and Carter on the deck of INS Vikramaditya with a MiG29K in the backdrop.

While the MoD has not formally released any schedule of the meetings, sources said that Carter would take Parrikar onboard US 7th Fleet Ship USS Blue Ridge, which touched Indian shores a couple of days back.

Carter, who landed in Goa on Sunday, was hosted for a dinner by Parrikar. Carter had a packed schedule in Goa yesterday with visits to the famous Manguesh temple and the tomb of St Francis at the Basilica Bom Jesus.

Carter said ‘technology sharing’ topped his agenda with focus on co-production and co-development. Many US companies have shown keen interest in taking NDA government’s Make in India wagon.

The just-concluded DefExpo in Goa was a pointer towards the combined strategy of US companies who wanted to co-produce planes and associated products from the India shores.

IAF Commanders’ Conference begins in Delhi

While Carter and Parrikar enjoyed their day at sea, back in Delhi, the Indian Air Force (IAF) began its bi-annual Air Force Commanders’ Conference at Air Headquarters.

Parrikar’s deputy Rao Inderjit Singh inaugurated the conference attended by Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar and Secretary (Defence Production) A K Gupta.

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Minister of State (Defence) Rao Inderjit Singh addresses Air Force Commanders in Delhi.

The meet would discuss measures to enhance the operational capability of the IAF. The IAF Chief is said to have updated upon the operational status of the fleet, security measures and the progress on infrastructure development.

“The IAF Chief highlighted the efforts made to increase the aircraft serviceability and the corresponding increase in flying task of the IAF as compared to the previous years. He further elaborated on the IAF’s focus areas and the future road-map,” a spokesperson said.

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), which is the backbone of IAF, is expected to make a presentation on the progress made by various ongoing projects. Sources confirm that the much-awaited Squadron formation of Tejas is likely to come up during the current conference.