As part of Indo-US Bilateral Defence Cooperation, the 7th Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) meeting was held between India and the US delegation here today. The meeting was co-chaired by, Secretary (Defence Production), Dr Ajay Kumar and Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment, DoD, US Government Ms Ellen M Lord. The meetings are held twice a year, alternately in India and the USA with the aim to bring sustained leadership focus to the bilateral defence trade relationship and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of defence equipment.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ajay Kumar brought out that Indian government has taken a number of steps to give an impetus to Indian defence industry and its flagship ‘Make in India’ initiative. He said, given the large defence outlay planned for India’s defence requirements in the future, the contribution of our defence industry, in partnership with foreign OEMs to begin with, is expected to be significant. This would also contribute to overall growth of the economy and will also have several opportunity benefits and downstream effects.
Ms Ellen Lord brought out that India-US defence cooperation is one of the core pillars of the defence relationship between the two countries and is continuing apace. She said the US has designated India as a ‘Major Defence Partner’ and expected the defence relationship between the two countries to be further strengthened. She also stated that DTTI is an important forum leading to the 2+2 dialogue between the two countries.
A number of Joint Working Groups have been established under DTTI to progress mutually agreed projects for the benefit of the Armed Forces. Discussions on the formulation of a Standard Operating Procedure and the Industrial Security Annex to take forward projects under DTTI are proceeding as planned.
The joint working group under the Air Force handling the surveillance platform has made considerable progress. The Indian Navy joint working group is constructively engaged with US Navy for aircraft carrier technology cooperation for the ongoing program. On the land systems front and on projects under the DRDO, both sides have identified projects where scope of co-production/co-development of systems exists.
The DTTI meeting has great significance for defence cooperation in trade and technology.