In a concern to what will be the major stimulant to the defense manufacturing sector, the Indian government has agreed to sign three ‘Make in India’ contracts that worth $3.4 billion. These contracts include a project to obtain US-origin M777 artillery guns.
It was reported that the ultra-light howitzers could be partly made locally with partnership with a private firm. The major brands, such as Mahindra, L&T and Tata are in the race for this $700-million deal, as they can get a share in the spares, ammunition and maintenance of the artillery guns.
The deal would be signed on a government-to-government pact with the United States.
Another major contract advocates for turning Tata into an Indian aviation giant. The partnership between Airbus and Tata has been cleared, in order to establish a new series of planes for the Indian Air Force. This deal that involves worth $2 billion investment asks for 56 aircrafts as of now, but according to studies, the number would increase up to to 64.
In order to meet the requirements of the Indian Army, the Modi government handed a gift to Russia for manufacturing 200 light choppers in India. The Russian company will now produce the Ka 226 choppers in India for replacing the obsolete Cheetah helicopters. To manufacture the choppers locally, Kamov has already set up a company in Bangalore.
With a major chunk going to the private industry, all the three deals are considered to have the potential of stimulating the defence manufacturing sector. As per the initial contract for the howitzers, 145 guns will be procured currently.
BAE has proposed to shift its testing AIT facility and assembly integration in India. This would establish India as the global hub for the M777 howitzer. Further, BAE is planning to export the guns to worldwide customers in Africa, South America and Europe. BAE spokesperson said that the company will now proceed to choose its local partners. The other project that is cleared is a Rs 2,700-contract that advocates for supplying six Brahmos systems to the Indian Navy.
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