India-US hold 11th Defence Technology & Trade Initiative Group virtual meet
With the objective of joint production of hi-tech weapons and systems, India and the United States on Wednesday virtually held the 11th Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) Group meeting. The meeting was co-chaired by Secretary (Defence Production) Raj Kumar from Ministry of Defence, Government of India, and PTDO (Performing the Duties of) Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment from US Department of Defence Gregory Kausner.
The DTTI Group meetings are normally held twice a year, alternating between India and the US. However, this DTTI meeting was held via video teleconferencing consecutively for a second time on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the DTTI Group is to bring sustained leadership focus to the bilateral defence trade relationship and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of defence equipment.
Four Joint Working Groups focused on land, naval, air, and aircraft carrier technologies have been established under DTTI to promote mutually agreed projects within their domains. The groups reported to the co-chairs on ongoing activities and collaborative opportunities, including a number of near-term projects targeted for completion on priority. As evidence of their commitment to demonstrating the success of DTTI, the co-chairs agreed on a revised Statement of Intent (SOI) that declares their intent “to strengthen our dialogue on defence technology cooperation by pursuing detailed planning and making measurable progress” on several specific DTTI projects.
The co-chairs were also pleased to note that since the last DTTI Group meeting in September 2020, the first project agreement for Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle under the Joint Working Group air systems was signed which is a major accomplishment for DTTI. To further encourage US and Indian industries to develop niche technologies under the DTTI Group, the Defence Industry Collaboration Forum (DICF) Virtual Expo was conducted on Tuesday.
The DICF was convened by Joint Secretary (Defence Industries Promotion) Anurag Bajpai and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Industrial Policy and Jesse Salazar. This forum offers an opportunity for Indian and US industries to be directly involved in DTTI and facilitates dialogue between government and industry on issues that impact industrial collaboration. The results of the discussion were briefed to the DTTI Group co-chairs.
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