India & US Discussed Bilateral Defense Trade Opportunities
The 10th Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) Group Meeting was held virtually on September 15, 2020. The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Raj Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production, from the Indian Ministry of Defence and Ms. Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, from the U.S. Department of Defense. DTTI Group Meetings are normally held twice a year, alternating between India and the United States. This time, meeting was held via VTC on account of COVID pandemic.
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. 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.
As evidence of their commitment to demonstrating the success of DTTI, the co-chairs signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) that declared their intent “to strengthen our dialogue on defense technology cooperation by pursuing detailed planning and making measurable progress” on several specific DTTI projects.
The co-chairs were also pleased to note that since the last DTTI Group meeting in October 2019, 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 U.S. industry associations.
Further efforts to encourage U.S. 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, 2020. The DICF was convened by Shri Sanjay Jaju, Joint Secretary (Defence Industries Production), Mr. Michael Vaccaro, Director, International Armaments Cooperation, and Ms. Amy Murray, Director, Small Business Programs. This forum offers an opportunity for Indian and U.S. industry to be directly involved in DTTI and facilitates dialogue between government and industry on issues that impact industrial collaboration. The results of the discussion were briefed to the DTTI Group co-chairs.