India, US suspend project for sharing jet engine technology, focus on drone warfare


NEW DELHI: A key Indo-US project aimed at sharing technology for building fighter jet enginesNSE -3.65 % has been ‘suspended’ after the two sides could not come to an agreement on specifics, with a lack of initiative from the industry.

India and the US have now identified new technologies for joint development of future warfare systems under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), including drone warfare, light weight arms and networked systems. Confirming that the fighter jet engine programme has been suspended, Ellen M Lord, undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, who was in the capital for a DTTI review meeting said there are other aspects of aircraft technology that can be worked on. “The original project is suspended right now. But we are talking about other potential engine working group items.

We could not come to an understanding of what exportable technologies would be useful to the Indians and we did run into a challenge in terms of US export controls,” Lord said. The official said other areas of cooperation are being identified. “We think there is an enormous amount of aircraft technology that we could together. The teams are working for areas of common interest that we can export,” she said.

As reported by ET, a similar initiative to share jet engine technology by France as part of the offsets for the Rafale deal has also been stalled. Efforts to revive the project to revitalise the Kaveri engine were made during the recent visit of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to France.