Defence Technology & Trade Initiative

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    In News

    • Recently, the 11th Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) Group meeting between India and the United States (US) was held virtually.
    • The DTTI Group meetings are normally held twice a year, alternating between India and the US.

    Key Highlights

    • Co-chairs agree on a revised Statement of Intent to strengthen dialogue on defence technology cooperation.
    • First Project Agreement for Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle under Joint Working Group Air Systems signed.
    • Defence Industry Collaboration ForumVirtual Expo was conducted to further encourage the development of niche technologies.
    • DTTI Group aims to create opportunities for co-production &co-development of defence equipment.

    Image Courtesy: Twitter 

    US | India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI)

    • Deepening bilateral defense cooperation is a strategic imperative for the United States and India, but for many years progress in this area was impeded by unique national bureaucratic structures, acquisition models, and budget processes. 
    • In 2012, the Department of Defense created a mechanism for overcoming or reducing these impediments. This effort has evolved into the India-U.S. Defense Technology and Trade Initiative or DTTI.
    • DTTI is intended to focus senior U.S. and Indian leadership on real opportunities and challenges associated with strengthening our defense partnership. 
    • While DTTI is not a treaty or law, it elevates the shared commitment of both countries to: 
      • defense trade, 
      • helps eliminate bureaucratic obstacles, 
      • accelerates timelines, 
      • promotes collaborative technology exchange, 
      • strengthens cooperative research, and 
      • enables co-production/co-development of defense systems for sustainment and modernization of our military forces.
    • Under the DTTI Terms of Reference, the two leads will meet as the DTTI Group every six months alternating locations between the U.S. and India.
    • The day-to-day DTTI effort is overseen by the DTTI Interagency Task Force (DIATF).
    • Four Service-led Joint Working Groups (JWGs) execute projects and activities under DTTI: 
      • Land Systems (LS), 
      • Naval Systems (NS), 
      • Air Systems (AS), and 
      • Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation (ACTC).
    • Objective:
      • The main aim of DTTI is to bring sustained leadership focus to promote collaborative technology exchange and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of future technologies for Indian and US military forces. 
    • The PA for co-development of ALUAV has been overseen by the Joint Working Group on Air Systems and is a major accomplishment for DTTI.

    Significance

    • Mutual trust: 
      • The enhancement of mutual trust and a commitment to the long-term strategic relationship. 
    • Structured and efficient: 
      • With these key defence pacts in place, cooperation between the US and India can take place in a more structured and efficient way, rather than in episodic bursts.
    • Sharing of valuable asset, encrypted systems and classified information:
      • While LEMOA means one partner trusts the other enough to expose its valuable assets, COMCASA means one is confident that it can rely on encrypted systems to connect the two militaries. And the latest pact, BECA, means the countries can share highly classified information in real time without fear of being compromised.
    • Cut through hassles of Bureaucracy on both sides:
      • The whole idea of the DTTI was to cut through the government bureaucracies on the two sides. 
      • As a mechanism for defence cooperation, it has to focus on advanced technologies. 

    Challenges

    • The US wants India to move away from Russian equipment and platforms, as it feels this may expose its technology and information to Moscow. 
    • So far, India is going ahead with the purchase of the S-400 air defence missile system from Russia, and this has been a sticking point for American interlocutors.

    Way Ahead

    • Senior leaders from both countries need to engage consistently to strengthen the opportunities in the field of defence. 
    • The focus should be on strengthening India’s defence industrial base, exploring new areas of technological development and expanding U.S.-India business ties.

    Source: PIB