India, US Sign Project Agreement For Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
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India, US Sign Project Agreement For Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

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The defence ministry said on Friday that the PA for ALUAV was signed on 30 July under the overall framework of the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative

In yet another step to expand the bilateral military cooperation, the ministry of defence has signed a project agreement with the US department of defence for cooperation in the development of air-launched unmanned aerial vehicle (ALUAV).

The defence ministry said on Friday that the PA for ALUAV was signed on 30 July under the overall framework of the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

“The PA for 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 January 2006 and renewed in January 2015,” the ministry said in a statement.

It described the PA as a significant step towards deepening defence technology cooperation between India and the US.

“The PA outlines the collaboration between Air Force Research Laboratory, Indian Air Force, and Defence Research and Development Organisation towards design, development, demonstration, testing and evaluation of systems to co-develop an ALUAV Prototype,” the ministry said.

It said 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 to focus on mutually agreed projects in respective domains.

“The PA for co-development of ALUAV has been overseen by the Joint Working Group on Air Systems and is a major accomplishment for DTTI,” the ministry said.

The Indo-US defence ties have been on an upswing in the last few years.

In June 2016, the US had designated India as a “Major Defence Partner”.

The two countries have also inked key defence and security pacts over the past few years, including the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016 that allows their militaries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies as well as provides for deeper cooperation.

The two sides have also signed COMCASA (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement) in 2018 that provides for interoperability between the two militaries and the sale of high-end technology from the US to India.

In October last year, India and the US sealed the BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) agreement to further boost bilateral defence ties. The pact provides for sharing of high-end military technology, logistics and geospatial maps between the two countries.

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