India, US officials discuss co-development, production of defence equipment

New Delhi (NVI): India and the United States defence officials yesterday held a virtual meeting, to discuss defence cooperation, including co-production and co-development of defence equipment.

The 10th Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) Group Meeting was co-chaired by Raj Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, and Ellen Lord, US Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment.

Kumar and Lord co-chaired the meeting, during which the groups reported about ongoing activities and collaborative opportunities.

“As evidence of their commitment to demonstrating the success of DTTI, the co-chairs signed a statement of intent (SOI) that declared to strengthen our dialogue on defence technology cooperation by pursuing detailed planning and making measurable progress on several specific DTTI project,” the Ministry of Defence said in a release.

The aim of the DTTI Group is to bring sustained leadership focus to the bilateral defense trade relationship and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of defense equipment.

The ministry further said, 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.

During the virtual meeting, the co-chairs also noted that since the last DTTI Group meeting in October last year, a DTTI Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the identification and development of cooperative projects under DTTI has been completed.

The SOP will serve as the framework for DTTI and allow both sides to reach and document a mutual understanding on how to define and achieve success.

A publicly releasable extract of key elements of the SOP was also published in July as the DTTI Initial Guidance for Industry, and distributed through Indian and US industry associations, the release said.

“Further efforts to encourage US and Indian industry to cooperatively develop next-generation technologies under the DTTI Group were highlighted by the 1st DTTI Industry Collaboration Forum (DICF), which took place virtually on September 10,” it added.

The DICF was convened by Sanjay Jaju, Joint Secretary (Defence Industries Production), Michael Vaccaro, Director, International Armaments Cooperation, and Amy Murray, Director, Small Business Programs.

“This forum offers an opportunity for Indian and US industry to be directly involved in DTTI and facilitates dialogue between government and industry on issues that impact industrial collaboration,” the release said, adding that, the results of the discussion were briefed to the DTTI Group co-chairs.