Ahead of the second 2+2 Indo-US Ministerial Dialogue, the two sides are developing a Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) -Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the identification and development of cooperative projects under DTTI. Also, both countries have decided to deepen their cooperation on DTTI projects including Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) and Air-Launched Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Intelligence, Surveillance, Targeting Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR).
Both countries have also identified two mid-term projects including the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) solution and virtual augmented reality solutions for aircraft maintenance (VAMRAM).
Both the countries are aiming towards finalising the SOP framework for DTTI during the 2+2 Ministerial dialogue expected to take place later this year or early next year in Washington DC. The SOP according to officials will help both sides to work together to achieve success in projects identified under DTTI.
To further deepen interaction between the private industries from both sides to jointly develop next-generation technologies and for this reason a document providing a framework for this industry interaction with DTTI too is in the pipeline to be inked at the 2+2 Dialogue, the dates for which are expected to be announced later this year.
The work on formulating the SOP and a document for the industry interaction with DTTI was initiated during the recently concluded 9th DTTI Group Meeting co-chaired by Subhash Chandra, Secretary, Defence Production, Ministry of Defence and Ms Ellen M Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, from the US Department of Defense.
According to officials, the DTTI Group Meetings are held twice a year, either in New Delhi or Washington DC and the aim is to focus to not only create opportunities for co-production and co-development of defence equipment but to also strengthen bilateral defence trade between the two.
There are different Joint Working Groups which have been established under the DTTI and are working on land, naval, air, and aircraft carrier technologies in an effort to promote mutually agreed projects within their domains.
Due to no common understanding of what kind of exportable technologies would be useful to India, according to Ellen M Lord, US Under-secretary of Defence Acquisition and Sustainment, the Joint Working Group on Jet Engine Cooperation has decided to suspend the work on this project under DTTI.
What is DTTI?
It is an initiative for co-production and co-development of military systems.
So far no project has been done under this from the time it was set up in 2012.
For the first time, there was DTTI-Industry Collaboration Forum meeting where top seven US companies and 20 top Indian companies had participated last week.