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India-US 2+2 Dialogue Resulted in Key Achievements Related to Defence Tech & Trade Initiative: Pentagon

The second 2+2 dialogue between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defence Secretary Mark Esper and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh were held at the State Department on Wednesday.

PTI

Updated:December 20, 2019, 11:55 PM IST
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India-US 2+2 Dialogue Resulted in Key Achievements Related to Defence Tech & Trade Initiative: Pentagon
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defence Secretary Mark Esper and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh after the meeting. (Image credit: Twitter@rajnathsingh

Washington: The just-concluded 2+2 ministerial dialogue has resulted in several significant achievements related to the India-US Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), the Pentagon said on Friday.

The second India-US 2+2 dialogue between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defence Secretary Mark Esper and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh were held at the State Department on Wednesday.

During the 2+2, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen M Lord and Indian Secretary for Defense Production Subhash Chandra jointly signed the DTTI Industry Collaboration Forum agreement and DTTI Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), the Pentagon said.

Under Secretary Lord and Secretary Chandra co-chair and oversee the DTTI efforts.

"I am very proud of our strategic partnership with India and Mr. Chandra, and these pivotal documents demonstrate that DTTI is making substantial progress at a critical time for our National Defense Strategy," Lord said.

Lord thanked Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, who until recently led the DTTI effort for India, for the hard work that he and his staff did to identify how best to introduce DTTI projects into the Defense Procurement Procedures."

The DTTI Industry Collaboration Forum will provide a standing mechanism for developing and sustaining an India-US industry dialogue on defence technological and industrial cooperation and to allow appropriate industry recommendations to be provided to the India-US DTTI Group, the Pentagon said.

The SOP will help identify and develop cooperative projects under DTTI, allowing both sides to reach and document a mutual understanding on how to define and achieve success, it said. These signings build on the ninth DTTI Group meeting held in New Delhi in October.

There the US and India agreed that the DTTI SOP will guide the coordination of projects under the two different national systems, the Pentagon said.

In addition, the two leaders signed the DTTI Statement of Intent (SOI), which declared the joint intent to "strengthen our dialogue on defence technology cooperation by pursuing detailed planning and making measurable progress" on several specific DTTI projects, including Lightweight Small Arms Technologies and Air-Launched Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance.

DTTI, the Pentagon said, is an example of the United States' commitment to strengthening its partnership with India while furthering military-to-military relationships and cooperation. DTTI has become increasingly important, as bilateral defense trade with India, essentially zero in 2008, will reach an estimated USD18 billion later this year.

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 defence 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 identify and promote mutually agreed projects within their domains.

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