India-US looking to co-develop small air launch UAVs: Pentagon
Washington DC: India and the US have identified small air launch unmanned aerial vehicles and a lightweight small arms technology project along with aircraft maintenance for defence collaboration, a top Pentagon official has said.
The US statement came as defence officials from the two countries held their latest round of Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) talks here.
The India-US DTTI meeting focused on encouraging the US and Indian industry to work together and develop next-generation technologies.
"One project we're looking at is small air launch UAVs," US Undersecretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord told a media roundtable at the Pentagon on Friday.
Lord, who co-chaired the meeting along with Secretary of Defence Production Ajay Kumar, said the teams are looking at very specific deliverables on the specific dates with key individuals having responsibility.
"Overall, we look at this as a cost efficient, cost effective way to provide additional capability to the war fighter. There are three proposed mission scenarios, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, cross border operations and cave tunnel inspection," Lord said.
On the drones, the discussions are mainly between the US Air Force Research Laboratory and India's Defence Research and Development Organisation. In April, the two sides will write the technical planning document.
"We plan to sign that sometimes in September timeframe," she said, adding that the potential exists to involve the Indian industry in its co-development.
The two sides also talked about virtual, augmented mixed reality for aircraft maintenance, which she stressed can deliver very significant potential to the two countries.
"What we want to do is take both the US and Indian technology and translate that into a war fighting capability that both the US and the Indians can use. This is very much a collaboration in terms of our governments, our industries and our overall know-how. The beneficiaries will be both the US as well as the Indians," Lord said.
The next meeting will be held in India in September.
With some of these systems, whether it be launching UAVs or virtual, augmented mixed reality, they are trying to focus on bolstering capabilities of platforms the two countries can share, she said.