India asks US to push technology transfer approvals

Washington, Dec 11 (IANS) Citing “numerous positive changes” in the defence field in India, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has asked the US to reciprocate positively for technology transfer approvals and leverage opportunities created by New Delhi.

“In the past one year, there have been sincere attempts from the Indian Ministry of Defence to change the mindset,” he said at a roundtable with senior executives of American and Indian aerospace and defence companies.

“Numerous positive changes have been incorporated through the revision of the offset policy and the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP),” Parrikar said at the event organised by the US-India Business Council (USIBC) Wednesday.

“The US government needs to reciprocate positively for technology transfer approvals and leverage opportunities created by the procedural changes in Indian defence procurement,” he said.

Apart from a Ministry of Defence delegation accompanying Parrikar, US Under Secretary of Defence Frank Kendall, and both US and Indian Ambassadors also attended the meeting.

Discussions focused on pushing the needle forward on ‘Make in India’ and challenges around technology transfer, according to a media release.

Over the past year, scientists and engineers from the two militaries have conducted five workshops in Autonomy, Cognitive Sciences, Directed Energy, Materials, and Munitions/ CIED. More workshops, including one on manufacturing, are expected soon.

Welcoming the minister, USIBC president Mukesh Aghi said, “The past decade has been a period in which our bilateral security ties have seen robust growth, not just in value, but in the level of technical partnership as well.”

Noting that Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) has become a key part of India-US defence relationship, Kendall said the two sides had identified many new areas for cooperative research and development.

Both sides are also committed to continue to exchange ideas in the search for additional projects for possible co-development and co-production that meet the spirit of DTTI, he said.

Pathfinder projects under DTTI include the Raven mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), “roll-on, roll-off” mission modules for C-130J aircraft, Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Sources (MEHPS) and Next Generation Protective Ensemble (NGPE) for soldiers.

As many as 17 new ideas for cooperation under the DTTI are also being discussed. The US proposed 11 new ideas for possible cooperation while India has offered six new proposals.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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