The ‘eye in the sky’ project — an aircraft-mounted radar that can look deep into enemy territory and direct combat assets for a strike — is set to get a boost with the defence ministry likely to clear next week the acquisition of two Airbus A330 platforms that will be modified by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
French firm Naval Group has termed the state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) its natural partner for the Rs 45,000-crore submarine project of the Indian Navy citing the joint production of Scorpeneclass submarines. MDL chairman, RK Shrawat, described France as a strategic partner of India.
India is one of the few countries which has its own active and successful BMD programme. All essential technologies required for BMD, like propulsion system, sensors, precision control systems and terminal intercept technology with kill vehicle development have matured and have been proven through various tests, pointed out DRDO Chief G Sateesh Reddy.
The defence ministry will be earmarking at least Rs 500 crore for its Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative. Expressing his support for the initiative, defence minister Rajnath Singh said at a function on Monday that India could emerge as a $10 trillion economy over the next 10-15 years if innovation talent is harnessed.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh, who met his Russian counterpart General Sergey Shoigu in Moscow, pushed for joint manufacturing of spares, components and aggregates in India to reduce costs and supply timelines. An industry delegation led by Ficci met Russian equipment manufacturers to identify products for which joint ventures would be formed in near future.
“It is necessary to put in place an effective and structured monitoring arrangement in all ministries and departments to ensure regular review of concrete outcomes emanating from the MoUs. While the MoUs that are of benefit to India call for proactive follow up, many MoUs may have lost their relevance and obsolete MoUs may be discontinued,” the top bureaucrat has said.
Around Rs 25,000 cr will be saved over the next 5 years on account of the rollback of customs duty on the import of defence equipment that is not manufactured in India while GST exemptions will augment the defence budget by Rs 35,000 cr.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be in Moscow from November 5-7 for the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) meeting.
An agreement to jointly manufacture spares in India was signed in September and ministry has now drafted guidelines to implement it, with the first step being identifying spares that will be required for at least 5 years by the military.
Admiral John C Aquilino, commander, US Pacific Fleet said that there has been no reduction in Chinese military activity and that its increased build-up is seen as a threat to all nations in the region.
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