The 11th Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) Group Meeting, held virtually on Nov. 9, 2021, was co-chaired by Mr. Raj Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production, from the Indian Ministry of Defence and Mr. Gregory Kausner, performing the duties of Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, from the U.S. Department of Defense.
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 agreed on a revised Statement of Intent (SOI) that declares 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 September 2020, the first Project Agreement (PA) for Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (ALUAV) under the Joint Working Group Air Systems was signed which is a major accomplishment for DTTI.
Further, to encourage U.S. and Indian industry to develop niche technologies under the DTTI Group, the Defence Industry Collaboration Forum (DICF) Virtual Expo was conducted on November 8, 2021. The DICF was convened by Mr. Anurag Bajpai, Joint Secretary (Defence Industries Promotion) and Mr. Jesse Salazar, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy. 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.
DTTI Group Meetings are normally held twice a year, alternating between India and the United States. However, the DTTI meeting was held via VTC consecutively for a second time on account of COVID pandemic.