Category — Defense/ Security

India Approves Purchase of Light Howitzers from U.S.

India’s Ministry of Defense approved a $750 million deal for the purchase of 145 Ultra Light howitzers from  Arlington, Virginia-based BAE Systems for the Mountain Strike Corps that defends India’s borders. Unlike traditional guns, these howitzers can be slung on helicopters and transported over difficult mountainous terrains.

According to the terms of the deal, 25 guns will be imported in a ready-to-use condition while the other 120 will be assembled and tested in the country.

 

M777 Howitzer

M777 Howitzer

Earlier this year, in a major boost to the Make in India initiative, BAE announced it would establish an assembly, integration & test facility for the M777 ultra lightweight howitzer in India, reports the International Business Times.

“The facility is a fundamental part of the M777 production line.  A domestic Assembly, Integration and Test facility will enable the Indian Army to access maintenance, spares and support for the M777 locally,” BAE said in a statement released in February.

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June 28, 2016   No Comments

India Further Liberalizes FDI Regime

On June 20, India announced a number of  measures to ease foreign investment in defense, civil aviation, pharmaceuticals, retail, food trade and broadcasting. The Federal Government has liberalized the FDI regime with the objective of providing a major impetus to employment and job creation in India.The government’s action opens up more than a half-dozen sectors to 100 percent foreign investment. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is the second reform after the last radical changes announced in November 2015.

FDI Reforms

 

India’s commerce and industry minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, told reporters that “definitions will have to be simplified, and clarity will emerge.” The Washington Post quotes Amber Dubey, partner and head of aerospace and defense in India at the business consulting firm KPMG, who said that “easy terms like ‘modern technology’ will allow most leading defense companies to come in unhindered.”

The government relaxed local sourcing norms for up to three years for single-brand retail trading of products that have “cutting-edge” technology. This will likely benefit Apple which had applied for exemption from the government’s rule of the 30 percent local-sourcing norm. The company will now be able to open a chain of branded stores in India. Ikea will also benefit from these relaxed norms.

100% foreign investment in civil aviation and foreign pharmaceutical companies being allowed  to invest 74 percent automatically in existing brownfield projects without government approval, are two other positive policy reforms.

“The opening up of food trading holds the most promise and is likely to generate real investment,” said Richard M. Rossow, an expert in U.S.-India policy studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

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June 23, 2016   No Comments

Air India One For Indian PM will be a Boeing 777-300

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, will soon get a  new Air India One aircraft for official purposes. According to exclusive details available with Aaj Tak, the aircraft will be similar to President Obama’s  Air Force One. Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar will finalize the deal for two new Boeing 777-300s during the Defense Acquisition Council meeting to be held on June 25.

Boeing 777-300

DNA reports that the plane will be fitted with the latest technology and security features. It will be able to withstand grenade and rocket attacks and dodge and jam enemy radars. It also has air-air refueling facilities in case of an emergency. Its defense systems include radar warning receivers and missile-approach warning systems. It can store food for 2,000 people. The plane is equipped with an operating theater for emergency surgery.  It has 19 TV sets, broadband, radio, telecom connections and a number of tools for official work.

 

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June 23, 2016   No Comments

DPP 2016 May Permit Agents in India’s Weapons Purchases

India may again allowing overseas manufacturers to hire defense agents  for securing contracts for their principals. This step has been taken per new guidelines mentioned in the 2016 Defense Procurement Procedure  policy, according to an Indian Ministry of Defense official quoted in Defense News.

“The main aim of the new policy (allowing agents) is to place responsibility and pressure on the OEM into bringing transparency to the existing relationships (while dealing with defense deals) in India.  said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

bullets

The guidelines further stipulate that the overseas defense company which is hiring the agent must provide necessary inputs and inspection of relevant financial documents and contracts between the vendor and the agent. The Ministry of Defense reserves the right to exercise veto power at any point in time against an agent proposed by the overseas defense company. The official explained, “India wants to bring more transparency in the working of defense agents, wants to identify the people who are representing the OEMs so that they can bring the transactions of these individuals within tax and general scrutiny.”

 

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June 23, 2016   No Comments

Thales to Provide Thermal Imaging Cameras to Indian Army

Thales, the French technology company for aerospace, transport, defense and security, has secured a contract from Beltech to deliver Catherine thermal imaging cameras for the Indian Army‘s T90 battle tanks. Thales will integrate 260 compact long wave infrared (LWIR) thermal imaging (TI) Catherine into Beltech’s TI Sights, reports Army-Technology.

Used for target acquisition and weapon engagements by land vehicles, Catherine thermal imagers offer gunners, commanders and land recce observers clear vision during day and night in adverse conditions.

catherine_fc

The transfer of production of Catherine contributes to the “Make in India” initiative of the Indian government, which aims to encourage companies to manufacture their products in the country. The company has over 300 employees at its wholly-owned Indian subsidiary, Thales India.

 

 

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June 21, 2016   No Comments