India and the US have announced the signing of a Project Agreement (PA) for an air-launched uncrewed aerial vehicle (ALUAV) under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) initiative.

DTTI initiative is a bilateral defence cooperation mechanism that promotes collaborative technology exchange, optimises cooperative research, and allows co-production/co-development of defence systems for the modernisation of military forces.

It also seeks to create opportunities for co-production and co-development of future technologies for the military forces of the two nations.

The latest PA falls under the Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation (RDT&E) memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the US Department of Defense (DoD).

The MOA was first signed in January 2006 and renewed in January 2015.

AFLCMC Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation (AFSAC) Directorate director brigadier general Brian R Bruckbauer said: “This important Project Agreement comes after many months invested by the AFSAC team, AFLCMC programme offices, AFRL, Air Force International Affairs, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, as well as our Indian Air Force and DRDO counterparts working together, side-by-side, on common national security interests.”

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The cost of the project, which is valued at about $22m, is equally shared between the two nations.

The Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Aerospace Systems Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), as well as the Indian and US Air Forces serve as the prime organisations for the PA execution.