Defence cooperation between India and USA is a "key driver" in the bilateral strategic partnership between the two nations. As per the SIPRI data, for the period 20013 – 2017, US has emerged as India’s second biggest supplier by providing 15 per cent of its weapons imports. Undoubtedly, India’s growing defence market has substantially contributed to the development of India-US defence cooperation.
To further strengthen ties between the two nations the Defence Cooperation Agreement between India and US has been extended for a period of 10 years till 2025, with Defence Technology & Trade Initiative (DTTI) being the centerpiece of the cooperation under the route of Co-production & Co-development. However, DTTI and the various recognitions that India has achieved need to contribute to India’s “Make in India” initiative and its quest for self-reliance.
At present, procurement is primarily undertaken through Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route. Going forward, India will rely heavily on Buy Indian / Strategic Partnership Model route. Here, transfer of Technology (ToT) will become extremely critical for capability building. With the recent decision by US to elevate India to STA-1 (Strategic Trade Authorisation-1) status for export of advanced US items, FICCI is hopeful that defence industry cooperation will also move forward in the right direction. A strong industry dialogue with deeper engagements of both Indian Public Sector and Private Sector could be the enabler for a tangible cooperation in this sector.
With this backdrop, FICCI is pleased to announce a Defence Business to delegation to US from December 4-10, 2018. The business visit will coincide with official visit of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Ji, Government of India. Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Ji along with a senior officials from Ministry of Defence is on state visit to USA to strengthen the India-US Defence Bilateral Cooperation. FICCI with the support of its International Office at Washington DC and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology & Logistics), U.S Department of Defense is developing a strong Itinerary. The broad itinerary will include:
Meetings with: 1) U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), 2) U.S. Department of State (DOS), 3) U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), 4) Think tanks 5) Roundtable interaction with US Industry (to be addressed by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Ji)
Visit to Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Cluster (TARDEC), Michigan [TARDEC works very closely with the US Auto majors to cater the needs of the ground segment of US Army for their current and future needs. Furthermore, they have a mandate to work with industry from both US and abroad to work in a PPP model to develop prototypes which can be commercialized by industry.]
Likely meetings at Maryland / Virginia
US Army Research Lab, Adelphi Maryland
US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command in Aberdeen, Maryland
Textron Systems, Maryland
BAE Systems, Virginia
Orbital ATK (recently acquired by Northrop Grumman), Virginia