DTII Current Affairs - 2020

9th India-US Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative

The ninth India-US Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI) group meeting is scheduled to happen in New Delhi in last week of October. DTTI is a flexible mechanism and not a treaty or law, which makes sure that senior leaders from both countries are engaged consistently to strengthen opportunities in field of defence.

What is Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI)?

Objective: Its main aim includes strengthening India’s defence industrial base, exploring new areas of technological development and expanding U.S.-India business ties.

DTTI came about to expedite scope of cooperation between partner countries on defence technology that become narrow due to presence of differing bureaucratic processes and legal requirements. But essentially, DTII is an initiative to provide increased US senior level oversight and engagement to get beyond these obstacles.

DTTI initiative is led by Undersecretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment from US and Secretary for Defence Protection from India.

Background

The 8th session of DTTI was held on February 2018 in New Delhi and was co-chaired by Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff from India and Acting Director, International Cooperation from US. Also, in August 2018, US granted to India the designation of Strategic Trade Authority Tier 1 (or STA-1).  The STA-1 authorisation is equivalent of NATO allying with Japan, South Korea and Australia and it provides India with greater supply-chain efficiency by allowing US companies to export a greater range of dual-use as well as high-tech items to India under  a smmoth streamlined processes.

India designated as major US defence partner

India has been designated as a major defence partner of the United States. It puts India on a par with the closest allies and partners of the US.

The agreement in this regard was reached between Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter in New Delhi. It was one of the last visits from a cabinet member of the outgoing Obama administration.

So far, US has bestowed this status upon the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) countries and the US treaty allies such as Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Philippines.

National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), 2017
  • India’s Major Defence Partner status has been made a part of the India Amendment in the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), 2017 of US.
  • India will get formal official stamp on this status after this bill is passed by two chambers of the Congress House of Representatives and Senate before it receives assent of US President Barack Obama.
  • Under the NDAA 2017, India will be included in conventional arms transfer policy, defence services, or related technology, inform the review of requests to export defence articles under the Arms Export Control Act.
Significance

The designation of this status is unique to India, a non-NATO ally of US. It institutionalizes the progress made by US to facilitate defence trade and technology sharing with India to a level at par with its closest allies and partners. It will facilitate US to transfer of advanced defence technology to India. It will also strengthen institutional effectiveness of US-India Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTII) and the durability of the India Rapid Reaction Cell in Pentagon.

Background

India was designated Major Defence Partner status during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to US in June, 2016.  Since 2014 some major agreements were signed between India and US. It included Defence Framework Agreement in 2015, which laid a blueprint for collaboration between the defence establishments and the logistics support agreement Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA).