The 9th Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) Group Meeting was held in New Delhi, India on October 24, 2019. The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Subhash Chandra, 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 held twice a year, alternating between India and the United States, with the aim to bring sustained leadership focus to the bilateral defense trade relationship and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of defense equipment.
A number of 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 within nine to twelve months and other projects in earlier stages of discussion.
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 including Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) and Air-Launched Small UAS.
The co-chairs were also pleased that significant progress has been made on developing a DTTI Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the identification and development of cooperative projects under DTTI. 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. The upcoming 2+2, potentially this December in Washington D.C., is the near-term opportunity to finalize the SOP.
Much of the discussion at this DTTI Group Meeting focused on encouraging U.S. and Indian industry to cooperatively develop next-generation technologies. A few days prior to the meeting, the inaugural session of the DTTI Industry Collaboration Council (DICF) was convened at the Leela Palace Hotel by Mr. Sanjay Jaju, Joint Secretary (Defence Industries Production) and Mr, Scott Baum, Principal Director, Industrial Policy. This forum will be a feature of all future DTTI Group Meetings and will offer an opportunity for Indian and U.S. industry to be directly involved in DTTI. A document providing a framework for this industry interaction with DTTI will be signed during the next 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue tentatively scheduled for later this year.