Monday, January 17, 2022

India & US take significant step towards deepening defence technology cooperation

Taking a significant step towards deepening defence technology cooperation between India & the US, the Ministry of Defence and the US Department of Defense On July 30, 2021, signed a Project Agreement (PA) for an Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (ALUAV) as part of the Joint group working in the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

The PA for the ALUAV is part of the RDT&E (Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation ) Memorandum of Agreement between the Ministry of Defence and the US Department of Defense, which was signed in January 2006 and was renewed later in January 2015. The agreement is a key step toward strengthening defence technology cooperation between the two countries through joint defence equipment development.

What PA outlines?

The PA outlines the Air Force Research Laboratory, Indian Air Force, and Defence Research and Development Organization’s collaboration to design, develop, demonstrate, test, and evaluate technologies in order to co-create an ALUAV prototype. PA is carried out by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) at DRDO and the Aerospace Systems Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), as well as executed by the Indian and US Air Forces.

Aim of DTTI

The major goal of the DTTI is to maintain a consistent leadership focus on collaborative technology exchange and prospects for co-production and co-development of future technologies for both military forces.

Joint Working Groups on land, marine, aviation and aircraft carrier technologies have been formed under DTTI to concentrate on mutually agreed-upon initiatives in their respective areas. The Joint Working Group on Air Systems oversaw the PA for ALUAV co-development, which is a significant achievement for DTTI.

Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Plans Air Vice Marshal Narmdeshwar Tiwari of the Indian Air Force and Director of Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate Brigadier General Brian R. Bruckbauer from the US Air Force signed the agreement.

Defence Cooperation between India & US

Defence purchases from the United States have been steadily increasing over the previous decade. Since 2008, India has spent about US$ 21 billion on defence equipment from the US. The Defense Production and Procurement Group keep track of defence procurement operations.

Military exercises and defence exchanges between countries are an important part of strengthening military-to-military cooperation. More bilateral exercises are being conducted between the two nations than with any other country. A tri-services exercise, Tiger Triumph, was performed in November 2019 in addition to a variety of service-to-service exercises. Yudh Abhyas (Army); Vajra Prahar (Special Forces); RIMPAC; Red Flag are examples of bilateral and regional exercises. Both sides have participated in a number of PASSEX exercises with US carrier groups in recent years in the Indian Ocean Region.

High-level delegations

Recently, the U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin visited India and met PM Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and discussed Indo-U.S. strategic cooperation, defence sales, technology transfer, and also Indo-Pacific strategy as a part of the Quad.

The United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken also visited India in July and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar.

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