US interested to provide aircraft ecosystem to India

04 November 2019

The United States is interested in providing an entire fighter aircraft ecosystem to India, the country's Under-Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (USD), Ellen Lord said in New Delhi.

Lord was in New Delhi for the ninth group meeting of the India-US Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI), a pact signed between the two countries in 2012 for co-development and joint manufacturing of defence products.

"With the fighter jet programme, we are very, very interested in providing an entire fighter aircraft ecosystem to India where we not only bring in aircraft but also bring in training and sustainment for the whole lifecycle which we believe we can offer to the Indian government," said Lord.

Lord also said that a project for co-developing jet engines under the Jet Engine Technology Joint Working Group between the two countries has been suspended right now.

"We could not come to an understanding as to what exportable technology would be useful to Indians. That being said, there is an enormous amount of aircraft technology on which we could work on together," Lord added.

She said a variety of projects are under discussion between the two countries under the DTTI which include three short-term projects, two mid-term projects, and two long-term projects. These projects range from small unmanned aerial systems to light weight small arms technology and the Virtual Augmented Mixed Reality for Aircraft Maintenance (VAMRAM) system.

Addressing a roundtable in New Delhi, she announced that the US and India have agreed to a joint statement of intent (SOI) that will deepen defence technology cooperation, and inter-operability consistent with the shared national security interests and national laws of both countries.