Short Takes

Short Takes
Short Takes

Thales bets on India supply chain

French defence major Thales is eyeing partners for major joint ventures in India, besides the ones already in place with state-run BEL, Samtel and L&T. The group is planning to expand its six-decade-old footprint in India and plans to make the country a part of its global supply chain in a much bigger way. India currently contributes less than 2.5 per cent to the company′s €14 billion annual turnover. Pascale Sourisse, senior executive vice-president (international development), Thales, said: "We have ambitious plans for the future... we believe that we can go much further. We see our activities in India not only as the right approach to get some business here but we also see our activities as a way to increase our footprint in other countries through export from India. "We believe India will play a big role in the global strategy of Thales going forward. Our assessment is we need to do much more. Currently what we have done is to actually work on our purchasing policy to identify more Indian companies that can be suppliers.” In reference to the much anticipated Rafale fighter jet deal, she said she hopes the deal would be inked soon as Thales is a major part of the project. Lockheed Martin to Make in India

American defence major Lockheed Martin has offered to move its lone production line of the latest version of fighter aircraft F-16 Block 70 to India from Texas. The proposal is "conditional" to Indian Air Force (IAF) choosing the aircraft for its fleet. Randall L. Howard, F-16 business development head at Lockheed Martin, said: "The offer we have given to the Indian government is unmatched and from our side unprecedented." In a major boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make in India initiative, the company wants to make F 16-Block 70 "for India, from India and export to the world". Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar has said India will choose at least one more aircraft besides the indigenous Tejas for IAF through the ′Make in India′ route. Lockheed Martin, which has sold 4,588 F-16s in the world, faces competition from its American rival Boeing (F/A-18E), Dassault Aviation of France (Rafale), Swedish plane Gripen by Saab and the Eurofighter. India-US clinch military pact

India and the US have clinched an important agreement to use each other′s land, air and naval bases for repair and resupply. "The US has agreed to elevate defence trade and technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with its closest allies and partners," said a joint statement after the pact was signed. At a press conference with US defence secretary Ash Carter, Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar said the agreement will allow the Indian and US navies to have an easier time supporting each other in joint operations and exercises and when providing humanitarian assistance. The agreement is seen as a milestone in the India-US defence relationship but both leaders made it clear that the logistics agreement did not allow the basing of US troops in India. Parrikar′s visit to Washington this week marks his sixth interaction with Carter, who has made closer military ties with India a priority. Russia to make copters in India Rostec, a Russian state corporation, will form a joint venture with Indian public sector unit Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for the manufacture of military helicopters in India named Kamov 226T. The Russian Federation and the Republic of India had signed an agreement during Prime Minister Modi's visit to Russia on cooperation in the field of helicopter manufacturing. As per the agreement, Rostec will produce at least 200 units of the Russian Ka-226T and its modifications along with its maintenance, operation, repair and providing technical support. Rostec State Corporation CEO Sergei Chemezov said: "The agreement with India is the result of long work with our Indian partners. This is the first Russian-Indian high-tech project, implemented by the Indian government within the framework of the Make in India programme. “The organisation for the manufacture of helicopters is provided by the creation of a Russian-Indian joint venture in India, which includes holdings of Rostec - JSC 'Rosoboronexport' and 'Russian Helicopters', and on the India side - the corporation 'HAL'.” Kamov-226 is a tried and tested helicopter with the Russian armoury since 2003 and will have an advanced French engine. US drones fly into India America′s top manufactures of armed drones plan to open an office in New Delhi by the year end. "We are looking forward to continuing to enhance our cooperation with India by working with the US government to provide the Indian Navy with persistent, operationally proven maritime domain awareness," said Linden Blue, CEO, of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), a leading manufacturer of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions. GA-ASI said in a statement that that it plans to expand its presence in India by opening an office in New Delhi. The company plans to increase collaboration with India in the areas of maritime security and maritime domain awareness, which are key missions for the Indian Ministry of Defence and the Indian Navy. India recently joined Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and has sent a letter of request to the US Government for 22 Guardian Predator aircraft. Armed drones have been used by Pakistan in combat. L&T in Samsung tie-up on Howitzers

In the biggest-ever order for India′s private sector, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has won a $700 million contract to produce 100 tracked 155mm howitzer guns at Indian facilities, jointly with South Korean major Samsung, for use by the Indian Army. The contract is likely to be inked with L&T by September once all formalities are completed. The L&T-Samsung team, offering the K-9 Vajra-T gun, beat an offering for the 2S19 MSTA weapon from Rosoboronexport of Russia. Samsung will supply the turret of the gun and the weapons will be produced at L&T's newly set up manufacturing facilities near Pune. Besides the 100 guns to be produced, the company hopes to close additional deals.

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