The US may offer some of its latest defence products for joint production in India under the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) as part of a new 10 year defence framework pact.
The pact is expected to be signed during the visit of US President Barak Obama to New Delhi later this month. The DTTI has been in the making for over six months now with officials from both sides discussing its finer points.
Frank Kendall, US Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics had said in October 2014 that the Pentagon had approved two previously-stalled technology transfer licenses to India, kick-starting a process of technology sharing which will be formalized into a DTTI agreement this year.
One of the two licences was presumed to be the licence-manufacture of the Javelin shoulder launched missiles in India. However, India selected the Israeli Spike system instead on cost considerations.
The ‘Make in India’ initiative of Prime Minister Modi may help give new meaning to the proposed DTTI agreement by specifying levels of technology sharing. US companies wanting to enter into partnerships with their Indian counterparts will find it much easier to get export approvals for equipment and technology.
In the words of Under Secretary Kendall, the US has offered “transformative defence technologies" for co-development and co-production with India under the DTTI, which include the next-generation of Javelin anti-tank guided missiles, long-endurance UAVs and warship guns.
New Delhi may be eager to foster partnerships between Indian and US companies to make equipment based on the so called transformative technologies both for domestic use and export.