March 30, 2016

MBDA in talks with DRDO, Bharat Dynamics for making missiles

MBDA has also started initial discussions with Indian officials to co-develop and locally produce the fifth generation anti-tank guided missile.
European missile manufacturer MBDA is in talks with the state-run Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and public sector firm Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) to co-develop and manufacture a short-range surface-to-air missile (SRSAM) for the Indian Navy through extensive technology transfer, said Loïc Piedevache, India head of MBDA Group.
SRSAM will also have significant export potential—an added incentive for the government’s Make in India project, said Piedevache in an interview. “SRSAM will be designed by DRDO, made by Bharat Dynamics assisted by MBDA’s longstanding and recognised expertise and know-how.”
Piedevache said MBDA Group has been working with India for more than 50 years. “The company started its make in India strategy even before the Modi government started its Make In India campaign,” he added.
The Make in India programme is now more than 18 months old. Launched on 25 September 2014, it was the brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote India as the world’s next manufacturing destination and attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Twenty-five sectors were identified—from automobiles to aviation to pharmaceuticals to tourism and wellness.
Under the programme, the government has awarded 56 defence manufacturing permits to private sector entities in the past one year, after allowing 49% FDI in the defence sector in August 2014, compared with 47 granted in the preceding three years.
“We sell products to all around the world. But India is the only country where we are offering co-development and ToT (transfer of technology) of cutting edge missile technology. MBDA’s office in Delhi is growing and is already the company’s largest overseas set up,” Piedevache said.
On the new defence procurement procedure or DPP 2016 , he said that already the government is clearly aiming at making the procurement process quicker and easier. The DPP 2016 aims to bring into effect measures to promote indigenization and self-reliance in defence. DPP also has enabling provisions for utilization and consolidation of design, development and manufacturing infrastructure available in the country are included in the proposal.
On the lower defence allocation in the Union Budget 2016-17, Piedevache said the group is in India for the long term, and its strategy is not based on annual budgets.
Piedevache said MBDA has started initial discussions with Indian officials to co-develop and locally produce the fifth generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), drawing on some of the highly advanced technology already being developed for the French army’s new Missile Moyenne Portée or medium range missile.
He did not disclose more details but added that the ATGM will be suitable for India’s own operational requirements.


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