India-US defence expo focuses on emerging domains, including space and artificial intelligence

Indian and US defence officials and business people have focused on partnering in space and artificial intelligence at a virtual expo as part of their diversified strategic defence cooperation

Arul Louis Nov 09, 2021
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India-US defence expo focuses on emerging domains

Indian and US defence officials and business people have focused on partnering in space and artificial intelligence at a virtual expo as part of their diversified strategic defence cooperation. The Second Defense Technology and Trade Initiative Industry Collaboration Forum (DICF) Virtual Expo held on Monday “focused on securing supply chains in critical sectors such as semiconductors and partnering for innovation in emerging domains, such as artificial intelligence and space,” Department of Defense Spokesperson Jessica Maxwell said.

Jesse Salazar, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy, and Anurag Bajpai, India's Joint Secretary for Defence Industries, co-chaired the Expo held in partnership with the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum and the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers.

Maxwell said, “The DICF, a cornerstone of the US-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), aims to deepen industrial cooperation between the US and India by identifying opportunities to jointly research, develop, and produce warfighting capabilities.”

Salazar was joined in the discussion by Michael Vaccaro, the DoD acting Executive Director for International Cooperation, and senior executives from US and Indian companies, she said.

As India and the US strengthen their strategic cooperation, DTTI has assumed an important role, which was reiterated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden at their Washington summit in September.

In their joint statement after their meeting, they called upon the government and private stakeholders “to use the existing ecosystems of innovation and entrepreneurship in defence industries for co-development, co-production and expanding mutual defence trade.”

Modi and Biden mentioned the recent project to co-develop air-launched unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) under the DTTI and said they “encouraged more such efforts.”

Modi has said that under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat or Selfreliant India programme of boosting domestic industries he wants to make India a hub of defence manufacturing and export and for this US collaboration could play a key role.

To facilitate deeper cooperation in defence industry, the two countries held a “summit” starting in late September on the Industrial Security Agreement (ISA) summit.

Bajpai and David Paul Bagnati, the Assistant Director for Defense Technology Security Administration, led the meeting to develop a protocol for the exchange of classified information between the defence industries of both nations.(SAM)