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India, US negotiating UAV co-development programme, says Pentagon official

The US and India are negotiating a co-development programme for the air-launched unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a top Pentagon official said Tuesday.

“I would like to highlight a very exciting project we are currently negotiating — air-launched unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV will be a co-development programme between the US Air Force Research Labs, the Indian Air Force, India”s Defense Research and Development Organisation, and … an Indian startup company,” said Ellen M Lord, Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment.

Addressing the India Idea’s Summit organised by the US-India Business Council, the top Pentagon official said that the US Air Force research labs have signed a cooperative research and development agreement with the Indian startup to support the development of the air-launched UAV.

The Pentagon’s point person for the ambitious US-India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), Lord said that they are planning to hold the next DTTI group meeting the week of September 14 and the second meeting of the DTTI industrial collaboration forum the week before.

Often described as the Pentagon”s chief weapons buyer, Lord said that US-India defence cooperation has made great strides in the last few years.

This cooperation has led to closer relationships across the two governments, and it has also increased stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

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