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India wants transformative technology from US

NEW DELHI (PTI): Ahead of the next round of talks with the US on defence cooperation this month, India said it will like to acquire technologies which are "transformative and unique" that can give it the edge over others.

Admitting that the four projects identified under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) might appear "not very unique", a senior Defence Ministry official on Monday said both countries will eventually graduate to a more sophisticated level.

"Something very fundamental to DTTI is that whatever we do, as far as India is concerned, we would like those technologies to be transformative and unique," G Mohan Kumar, Secretary (Defence Production) told reporters here.

He said under DTTI, India is looking for technolgies which "can give us an edge".

During US President Barack Obama's visit, the two countries had identified four "pathfinder projects" under DTTI while agreeing on a working group on aircraft carrier technology and for designing and development of jet engine technology.

"There are so many types of technology. Aircraft carrier technology, jet engine technology where the country can be given an edge," Kumar added.

He said the whole process is "demand driver" and forces will decide what meets their futuristic requirements.

The official noted that both the countries are in a new area of bilateral cooperation as they never had the opportunity of co-production and co-development.

"This entire process is evolving and basic procedures are being paved out. And in the process we have identified some of the technologies where we can be partners," he said.

Kumar stressed that DTTI is a "very young framework" and it will take sometime to evolve into something very mature.

US Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall will arrive here later this month, his second in as many months.

During the earlier visit of Kendall, Pentagon's point person on India-related defence issues in particular on the DTTI, in January, the two sides had agreed upon four "pathfinder projects".

Asked if these projects fall under India's definition of "transformative and unique", Kumar said, "We have to start at some point of time...if we begin on modest scale at certain level, it can graduate to more and more sophisticated levels...even if we begin at a level, which might appear to be not very unique, we will graduate to that".

Kumar said India is very ambitious about DTTI but everything will depend on how much the doors will be opened.

While the armed forces will identify the technology needed under DTTI, DRDO will have a look at them and decide whether we already have it or if it is in the process of evolution, he said.

He said the technology, which can be procured from elsewhere or through a multi-vendor situation, will not be considered under DTTI.

"There is a system within the DTTI where the inter-agency task force discusses and decides on equipment and technology that will be considered. So there have been suggestions from both sides and these are considered by teams and decided," he said.

Besides jet engine, India is interested in the EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System), which propels fighters into the sky from carrier decks, thereby allowing increased payload of the aircraft and saving of fuel.

India currently operates two aircraft carriers and a third is under construction. It is estimated to take 15 years before another carrier with such a technology came come up.

The US is using this next-generation technology on its new Gerald R Ford Class carrier, currently under construction.

About two years ago, the US had proposed a list of 17 items under the DTTI. It had also asked India to give a list of projects that it was interested in.

After consultations, the Indian side presented a list of about six high-technology projects that it wanted to procure and jointly produce.


India  Technology  US  Military  

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