New Delhi: Hard on the heels of India's ministry of defence announcing a revised investment-friendly weapons procurement policy (DPP-2008), global armament companies have submitted proposals to the government offering increased investments, export creation and partnership in boosting the local aerospace industry.
Six leading defence contractors have submitted proposals for comprehensive industrial participation in the Indian defence industry as part of obligations to meet the offsets requirement in the estimated $11 billion contract for the supply of 126 medium multi role combat aircraft (MMRCA) to the Indian Air force.
These companies are American aviation and defence giants Lockheed Martin and Boeing, European consortium EADS, French D'assault, Russian MiG-Mapo corporation and the Swedish company SAAB.
The revised Defence Procurement Procedure -2008 made public only last week, allows multinational companies to bank their offsets. The clause would, however, not be applicable to the MMRCA contract. The new policy would come into force only from 1 September and hence the offset proposals for the fighter contract would be governed by the old procurement rules.
"Partnership with Lockheed Martin provides India the opportunity to develop advanced defence technologies, manufacturing capabilities and defence systems. This would help India to develop a world-class aerospace and defence technologies," said Oriville Prins, Lockheed Martin's Business Development vice president, after submitting the offset proposals to the IAF.
Chris Chadwick, president of the Boeing military aircraft, said to meet India's MMRCA offset requirements, his company had assembled a formidable industrial lineup of US and Indian companies.
Earlier this year, Boeing had reached an agreement to form a joint venture with Tata Industries, as well as signed a Memorandum of Understanding with HAL and Larsen & Toubro.
EADS said their Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft partners had already signed more than 20 MoUs with key Indian defence companies.
"EADS' vision for the MMRCA programme was to solidly and pragmatically bring the capabilities, skills and technologies to the Indian industry, from Defence PSUs, private large corporations to small and medium industries and enterprises," the company's military air systems CEO, Bernhard Gerwert said.