US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel inspects a Guard of Honour of Indian troops during a welcome ceremony in New Delhi on Friday. (RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW DELHI — The top Indian and US defense acquisition officials will work together to foster joint defense projects, the governments said Friday.
No such project has been announced since the two governments created the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) in 2012, which aimed to boost cooperation and reduce red tape.
The announcement came after a meeting here between Indian Defense Minister Arun Jaitley and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, whose visit has also included meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
In a press release, Defence Ministry officials said, “With co-development and co-production of defense products in mind, India and the United States today agreed to take the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) forward. The contact person from the Indian side will be the Secretary, Department of Defense Production and the United States will be represented by, the Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Licensing at the Pentagon.”
Frank Kendall is the current US defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics.
A defense analyst said India’s efforts to co-produce arms and defense gear with the US have been notably slower than that with Israel and Russia.
“The eagerness to transfer of technology by United States to India has been the stumbling block in boosting these ties,” said Nitin Mehta.■