India, U.S. hold 11th Defence Technology and Trade Initiative group meeting

They agree on revised Statement of Intent to strengthen dialogue on defence technology cooperation.

As part of efforts for co-production and co-development of defence equipment under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), India and the U.S. agreed on a revised Statement of Intent (SOI) to strengthen dialogue on defence technology cooperation by “pursuing detailed planning and making measurable progress” on several specific DTTI projects, the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.

This was agreed at 11th DTTI group meeting between India and the U.S. held virtually on Tuesday. It was co-chaired by Secretary (Defence Production) Raj Kumar from the Indian side and Gregory Kausner, performing the duties of Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment from U.S. Department of Defence.

The meetings are normally held twice a year, alternating between India and the U.S. However, this DTTI meeting was held via video teleconferencing consecutively for a second time on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Defence Ministry statement said.

The aim of the group was to bring sustained leadership focus to the bilateral defence trade relationship and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of defence equipment, the statement noted. Four Joint Working Groups focused on land, naval, air and aircraft carrier technologies had been established under DTTI to promote mutually agreed projects. “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,” the Ministry said.

The two sides recently signed the first project agreement for Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle under the Joint Working Group Air Systems.

A virtual expo of the Defence Industry Collaboration Forum was also conducted on Monday. “This forum offers an opportunity for Indian and U.S. industries to be directly involved in DTTI and facilitates dialogue between government and industry on issues that impact industrial collaboration,” the statement added.

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