After the launch of the ambitious 'Make in India' initiative, 46 licences have been issued in the defence sector to produce items including light armoured vehicles, artillery weapon systems, UAVs and underwater systems, the Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.
Minister of state for defence Rao Inderjit Singh said in a written reply that private players have also been given industrial licences to produce electronic warfare systems, air defence weapons and armoured panels for helicopters among other items.
In a separate written response, Singh said Airbus has informed that the group is ready to invest in India, to produce in India and to source from India, thus contributing to 'Make in India' policy. "There is no agreement between the government and the Airbus on this," he said.
He also said Israel, Japan and Republic of Korea have evinced interest in the defence sector under the Make in India initiative.
"The government has not signed MoU with any foreign country under Make in India initiative for manufacturing defence equipment or weapons," he said.
Responding to another question, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said in a written submission that as per the draft Research and Development (R&D) contract with Russia, the delivery of fifth generation fighter aircraft can commence after 94 months from the start of the contract which has not yet been signed.
Under the preliminary design contract signed in December, 2010, the expenditure committed so far is Rs 1,418.91 crore.