The Technical Cooperation Program: Overview
The overview covers some historical background, the aims of the program, how TTCP is organized and functional activities of TTCP are described. A downloadable document: "TTCP '101' - A Beginner's Guide to The Technical Cooperation Program" is also available.
On 25 October 1957, the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Great Britain made a Declaration of Common Purpose containing the following words:
"The arrangements which the nations of the free world have made for collective defense and mutual help are based on the recognition that the concept of national self sufficiency is now out of date. The countries of the free world are interdependent and only in genuine partnership, by combining their resources and sharing tasks in many fields, can progress and safety be found. For our part we have agreed that our two countries will henceforth act in accordance with this principle."
Immediately afterward, the Canadian Government subscribed to this principle of interdependence and declared itself ready to join in the common effort. The United States and United Kingdom Governments agreed that Canada should participate. The resulting organization was called the Tripartite Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP).
As a result, an exchange of notes was made which reconstituted the Combined Policy Committee (CPC) which comprised the Foreign and Defense Ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada and also the heads of the atomic energy agencies of the three nations. It was further decided that two Subcommittees of the CPC should be established: one to deal with matters in the atomic field and the other to facilitate cooperation in non-atomic research and development. The latter body, eventually named the Subcommittee on Non-Atomic Military Research and Development (NAMRAD), was composed of the heads of defense research and development organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. Australia joined the NAMRAD Subcomittee in 1965, and New Zealand joined in 1969. These five nations form the current membership, and the organization governed by the Subcommittee is now called The Technical Cooperation Program.
From 1958 until 1971, TTCP grew from an original 8 Groups to 17 Groups. These 17 Groups oversaw a total of 57 Working Panels and 43 Working Groups. Based on a conviction that the program had grown too large and that it encompassed some activities of marginal value, a complete review of TTCP was carried out in late 1971. In March 1972, a policy statement was issued which revised the scope, structure, and mode of operation of TTCP to ensure that the manpower and other resources expended on the program would be limited to areas of high potential for mutual benefit.
In 1983, TTCP celebrated its 25th anniversary. Some historical comments and background on TTCP were prepared for the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the NAMRAD Principals.
In 1994, the TTCP participants were advised of a United States legal interpretation requiring all United States defense agreements, including the former TTCP Declaration of Common Purpose, to be formalized by way of a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The required MOU was signed by each of the TTCP nations in Australia in October 1995, Amendment One was signed in the UK in October 2000 and Amendment Two was signed on October 15, 2005 in Canada.
At the 1995 NAMRAD annual meeting, the Principals asked the Deputies to investigate the structure and operations of TTCP. This study led to the second major revision of the organization, adopted at the NAMRAD meeting held in the United Kingdom in October 1996. The major technical elements, known since the early days of the NAMRAD Subcommittee as Subgroups, were renamed as Groups. The two Subgroups that had focused, respectively, on radar and on optoelectronics and infrared technologies were combined into a Sensors Group; and a new Group called Joint Systems and Analysis was formed to perform system concept studies, analysis of joint operations and land operations, and operations research. After these revisions, there were ten Groups.
At the 2005 NAMRAD annual meeting, the Principals unanimously approved the formation of a Land Systems Group, thus bringing the total to 11 Groups.
The central concept that led to the formation of TTCP was contained in the Declaration of Common Purpose. That declaration recognized that no member nation possesses the total resources to provide for its own defense research and development (R&D) needs. Each must assist the others by sharing resources and tasks in many fields so that progress and security can be found by all. The aim of TTCP, then, is to foster such cooperation in the science and technology (S&T) needed for conventional, i.e. non-atomic, national defense. The purpose is to enhance national defense at reduced cost.
TTCP encompasses basic research, exploratory development and demonstrations of advanced technology development. This scope includes the exploration of alternatives and concepts prior to development of specific weapon systems; feasibility demonstrations of innovative new concepts, techniques or equipment and their test and evaluation; the pursuit of alternate solutions to potential military problems; and generic systems. Specific systems may be utilized to gain an understanding of the state of the art and to derive the departure point for future activity.
Collaboration within TTCP provides a means of acquainting the participating nations with each other's defense R&D programs so that each national program may be adjusted and planned in cognizance of the efforts of the other nations. This process supplements each nation's program with the knowledge and resources of the others. It avoids unnecessary duplication among the national programs. It promotes concerted action and joint research to identify and close important gaps in the collective technology base. And it provides each nation with the best technical information available for advice to their governments and military forces on all matters related to defense R&D.
TTCP, being a program and not a corporate body, has no funding and acts by recognition of mutual defense requirements and the willingness of staff to collaborate in joint research activities through consultation, collective decisions, and formulating recommendations for operational requirements. Under the TTCP charter, member nations explain their national programs and objectives, in different key technology areas, in order to identify the scope for collaboration. Collaborative research, sharing of data and facilities, joint trials and exercises, etc. are all included in the cooperation.
Traditionally, TTCP has been very successful with scientists working under a 'best efforts' basis in which there has been no formal commitment by each nation to make available the resources or to perform the activities needed to accomplish the collaborative activity. TTCP Principals fully endorse this approach and determine that it should remain the basis for most collaborative activities under TTCP. However, it is recognized that in some cases (e.g. major trials or exercises) the failure of one nation to complete its undertaking could significantly diminish the value of the joint activity and waste resources. In such cases, the TTCP MOU provides for a Project Arrangement (PA) under which each participating nation formally accepts a commitment with respect to specific resources and activities for the collaborative project.
For more details, see TTCP Activities.
TTCP is a hierarchical structure, with three basic levels:
Level 1Level 1 is the strategic policy level and comprises three groups of personnel: the Principals; the Deputies; and the Secretariat. Each nation has one representative to each of these groups, with the exception that the Australian Deputy also acts as the New Zealand Deputy. The Principals make up TTCP Subcommittee. The Deputies and Secretariat are all based in Washington, DC, and collectively form the Washington Staff. Some nations also nominate one or more Executive Support staff to assist the Principals.
Level 2Level 2 is the programme planning and oversight level and currently contains 11 Groups, each focused on a particular technology or systems area. The Groups, which have a threeletter designator, contain an Executive Chair (EC, appointed from any one of the nations), up to five National Representatives (NRs, with one from each nation, although the EC may also act as a NR) and a number of Technical Advisors (TAs, if required by the National Representatives). Finally, each Group has one Deputy assigned to act as its Group Counselor (GC), who works with the Group to help communicate the Principals strategic direction. The Groups are:
Level 3Level 3 contains the bodies that sit under each Group (and actually perform the collaborations). There are three types: the semipermanent Technical Panels (TPs); the temporary Action Groups (AGs); and the discrete Projects. Technical Panels are designed to manage a continuing programme of work and will generally oversee a number of subordinate activities (each Group uses different terminology for such tasks). Action Groups are initiated to investigate a specific issue and on completion will recommend if and how any further work on the subject should be undertaken on a more permanent basis. Projects, which are governed by Project Arrangements (PAs), are a more binding form of cooperation, used to support a specific programme or a collaboration. Technical Panels and Action Groups have one formal Chair, drawn from one of the nations, plus one National Leader (and the Chair may be double hatted as a National Leader) and a number of Team Members from each participating nation. Not all nations participate in all TPs or AGs. The majority of personnel involved in TTCP operate at or in support of Level 3. Group structures at Level 3 can and should evolve to remain topical and useful. Groups have the authority to initiate and terminate TPs and AGs at any time, although the changes must be notified to the Principals at their next annual meeting.
TTCP Principals are as follows:
|Chief Defence Scientist
Department of Defence
|Assistant Deputy Minister for Science and Technology
Department of National Defence
|Director, Defence Technology Agency
New Zealand Defence Force
|Director, Science and Technology
Ministry of Defence
United States of America
|Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research,
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research
TTCP Principals do not have a permanent head. The Principal from the nation hosting the annual TTCP meeting acts as chair of that meeting.
TTCP Principals will make decisions unanimously except with respect to the authorization, amendment or termination of TTCP PAs as explained in MOU paragraph 4.2.6.
When TTCP Principals are not in session, the powers and authorities of the TTCP Subcommittee, as defined in the TTCP MOU, are exercised by the Principals ex-committee with the support of the Deputies.
Washington Contact Officers
Each Deputy may appoint a Washington Contact Officer (WCO) for each TTCP Group. Appointment of WCOs is optional and is a national decision.
The WCO will act as a Point of Focus for his national participants. In this role, he will facilitate contacts and exchanges and expedite correspondence, including the provision of a secure channel for exchange of classified material. He should provide support to his Deputy and Secretariat and to the Executive Chair of any assigned Group when that officer is appointed from his nation.