Under the Indo-US Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), US Air Force Research Labs, and a Banglore based start-up, NewSpace Research and Technologies Pvt Ltd will join hands to develop future air-launched drones for the armed forces.
NewSpace Research and Technologies Pvt Ltd is a privately held company with a 46 member team. It was selected for a futuristic program that involves collaboration with the US Air Force Research Labs, the Indian Air Force, and the Indian government’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The project is likely to involve drones that act as force multipliers for combat aircraft on mission.
Experts have hailed the move to let private players enter the field. “A lot of the work under DTTI isn’t terribly advanced, certainly not the kind that requires high-level enabling S&T research from organizations like DRDO and DARPA.
Given that, it makes sense to involve private businesses, particularly the more agile and specialized outfits, to collaborate on meeting high-level requirements set out by the militaries of both sides,” aviation expert Angad Singh with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) said to ET.
“The key thing is to frame DTTI as cooperative tech development — where both sides contribute and both benefit from the outcomes — rather than one-sided arms sales or technology transfer from the USA to India,” Singh added.
According to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, DTTI came about to expedite the scope of cooperation on defense technology that become narrow due to the presence of differing bureaucratic processes and legal requirements.
Essentially, DTTI is an initiative to provide “increased US senior-level oversight and engagement to get beyond these obstacles.”
Traditionally, all such projects are undertaken by DRDO which is bound by governmental procedure and pace. The project, if successful, would be the first such story under intergovernmental DTTI that has yet to show significant results.