Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeDefenceIndia, US 'suspend' ambitious jet engine technology plan under defence trade deal

India, US ‘suspend’ ambitious jet engine technology plan under defence trade deal

New Delhi had sought high-powered engines under the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative but US is 'unwilling' to transfer high-end technology.

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New Delhi: India and the US have ‘suspended’ the ambitious plan to collaborate on jet engine technology under the much-touted Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI).

“The original project is suspended right now. But we are talking about other potential engine working group items,” the US Under Secretary for Defence, Ellen Lord, said while speaking to a select group of journalists.

She explained that the US could not come to an understanding of what exportable technologies would be useful to the Indians. “We did run into challenges in terms of US export controls,” she said. “That being said, we think there is an enormous amount of aircraft technology that we could do together. The teams are working for areas of common interest that we can export.”

The development is a setback to India’s plan to create a jet engine that could power future indigenous fighter aircraft including the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft, a fifth-generation aircraft. The two sides had set up a Joint Working Group on Jet Engine Technology and had been meeting regularly.

India has been working on the indigenous Kaveri engine but has not been able to get the requisite power. It was pinning its hopes on the “hot engine” technology, considered by the US as the crown jewel in jet engine technology.

Defence sources told ThePrint that the main problem was that the US was unwilling to transfer the high technology that was much needed for the engine programme to take off.

Also read: Arsenal for Pakistan prepped, Army now focuses on ammo reserves to deal with China 

New initiatives being taken under DTTI

Lord said new initiatives are being taken under DTTI and added that both countries have come a long way since they started the Joint Working Group (JWG) format in 2015. “I know that in the past there have been frustrations with progress under DTTI, but I can assure you that we are making considerable progress,” she said.

“The JWG co-chairs are working hard to show progress on current projects and identify new ones.,” she further said. “The technologies that they are discussing are significant — things such as virtual augmented reality, air-launched UAS, networked operations, brand- new weapon and light-weight ammo designs.”

She added that US and India agreed to a joint statement of intent (SOI) that will deepen defence technology cooperation, and interoperability consistent with shared national security interests and respective national laws.

“Further, the SOI outlines the need for detailed planning and measurable progress on specific short, middle, and long-term DTTI projects that are identified in the document,” she said. “This demonstrates how DTTI is making progress and that both sides are fully committed to it.”

Both sides also agreed to a near-term timeline to complete a DTTI Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that will guide both countries as they coordinate projects under two different systems. “We identified the upcoming 2+2, potentially this December in Washington D.C., as a near-term opportunity to finalize the SO,” she said.

Also read: European defence major, Swedish firm in race to clinch deal for Navy’s missile  project


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  1. Why should any country transfer critical technology? Even china did not get such “technology”. When you buy, you buy the equipment, not technology. It is wrong to ask the US or any company to transfer technology for merely buying the products.

  2. Urinated Ganges connected by air with Delhi is not ambition. It is delusional aspiration of illiterate beggars.

  3. Moon landing, Bullet train, Jet engines, aero ride from Lucknow to Delhi………some priority screw up is revealed at the very top in the country. Risk of slipping even below 132 out of 192 countries is very real.

    • There is no screwup – the US wants to protect its markets. And Moon Landing, bullet train or Jet engines shows the ambitions of this Govt – compared to the decades of sleeping govts who did nothing – not even build a metro in Delhi till 2012. .

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