Following the Critical and Emerging Technology initiative talks in New Delhi on June 17, India and the US released a joint fact sheet which highlighted the progress on MQ-9B acquisition, and on other defence cooperation sectors between the two nations, Report informs referring to the Business Standard.

The key points that were highlighted in the fact sheet were Significant Funding Commitments, NASA-ISRO Collaboration, Defence Space Technology, Telecommunications Advances, Semiconductor Partnership, Quantum and AI Cooperation amongst many.

“Welcoming the discussions on India’s planned acquisition of the MQ-9B platforms, the possible co-production of land warfare systems, and progress on other co-production initiatives outlined in the India-US Roadmap for Defense Industrial Cooperation,” the joint fact-sheet read.

Notably, India’s deal with the US of almost $4 billion, paving the way for the acquisition of 31 state-of-the-art MQ-9B Sky Guardian drones, will not only propel India’s defence capabilities but also ensure a 16-fold increase in the number of aircraft, significantly enhancing New Delhi’s maritime security beyond the current lease agreement.

The drone deal is part of the broader efforts to strengthen defence ties between the United States and India.

The MQ-9Bs, assembled in India, will enhance the ISR capabilities of India’s armed forces across domains.

Meanwhile, the joint factsheet also mentioned the deepening cooperation between the US Defence Innovation Unit and India’s Innovations for Defense Excellence to accelerate the joint adoption of cutting-edge commercial technologies for military solutions.

“Celebrating the second edition of the India-US Defense Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X) Summit which took place in February this year and during which the two sides announced an INDUS-X Investor Summit that will take place in Silicon Valley in September 2024; the awarding of up to USD 1.2 million in seed funding to 10 US and Indian companies under Joint IMPACT 1.0 Challenges; the intent to launch two challenges focused on space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) under IMPACT 2.0; and the launch of an INDUSWERX Testing Consortium steered by industry, academia and non-profit organizations across India and the United States to promote access to testing and certification facilities,” according to the fact sheet.

During the second iCET meeting, NSA Doval and Sullivan set the vision for the next chapter of our strategic technology partnership.

The two leaders underscored their commitment to orienting cooperation around breakthrough achievements in priority critical and emerging technology areas, by focusing our efforts on co-production, co-development, and research and development (R & D) opportunities for a further boost to India-US ties.