India, US sign project pact for air-launched drone

Photo: For Representational Purposes Only.

New Delhi: India today said it has signed an agreement with the United States for working on an air-launched drone under the bilateral arrangement for defence trade and technology.

The Project Agreement will enable the two nations to work on development of the Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (ALUAV) under the Joint Working Group on Air Systems of the bilateral Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), a Ministry of Defence statement said.

The agreement was signed between India’s Ministry of Defence and US Department of Defense on Jul. 30, the statement said.

“The Project Agreement for the ALUAV falls under the Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation (RDT&E) Memorandum of Agreement between Ministry of Defence and US Department of Defence, which was first signed in Jan. 2006 and renewed in Jan, 2015,” the Indian defence ministry said.

“The agreement is a significant step towards deepening defence technology collaboration between the two nations through co-development of defence equipment.”

The main aim of DTTI is to bring sustained leadership focus to promote collaborative technology exchange and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of future technologies for Indian and US military forces.

Under DTTI, Joint Working Groups on land, naval, air, and aircraft carrier technologies have been established for focus on mutually agreed projects in respective domains.

The Project Agreement for co-development of ALUAV has been overseen by the Joint Working Group on Air Systems and is a major accomplishment for DTTI, the statement said.

The Project Agreement outlines the collaboration between Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)of the Indian Air Force, and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) towards design, development, demonstration, testing and evaluation of systems to co-develop an ALUAV prototype.

The Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) at DRDO and the Aerospace Systems Directorate at the AFRL, along with the Indian and US Air Forces, are the principal organisations for execution of Project Agreement.

The agreement was signed by the co-chairs of the Joint Working Group Air Systems under DTTI — Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Plans Air Vice Marshal Narmdeshwar Tiwari from the Indian Air Force and Director of Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate Brigadier General Brian R. Bruckbauer from the US Air Force.

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