As expected, India and the U.S. today renewed for 10 years their framework agreement on defence (till 2025) “which will guide and expand the bilateral defence and strategic partnership over the next ten years.”
A new agreement signed on Jan 22 was revealed today: the India-U.S. Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation (RDT&E) Agreement to facilitate cooperation in defence research and development.
In terms of tangible deliverables, the two countries today made progress under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), identifying four ‘pathfinder projects’ to pursue co-production and co-development in. The two countries today formalised co-development & co-production understandings on the AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven hand-launched surveillance UAS and roll-on/roll-off modules for the Lockheed-Martin C-130J Super Hercules, currently being processed through an inter-university competition in India. The other two pathfinder projects, both in an advanced stage of definition, include aircraft carrier technology (specifically a working group on EMALS) and possible cooperation on development of jet engine technology.
Quoting from the joint statement, “The Leaders also acknowledged the need for the two-way defence engagement to include technology cooperation and collaboration, co-production and co-development. To this end, the President and the Prime Minister emphasized the ongoing importance of the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) in developing new areas of technology cooperation in the defence sector including through co-development and co-production and the Prime Minister welcomed the U.S. Defense Department’s establishment of a dedicated rapid reaction team focused exclusively on advancing DTTI. The Leaders expressed confidence that continued DTTI collaboration will yield additional joint projects in the near future.”
The two leaders agreed that the navies of both sides would continue discussions to identify specific areas for expanding maritime cooperation, and reiterated their commitment to upgrading their bilateral naval exercise Malabar.
Finally, the two sides also launched a knowledge partnership in defence studies “expressing a shared desire to pursue collaborative activities between the United States and Indian National Defence Universities.”