$10-billion fighter deal hits tech-transfer air pocket

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Nov 06, 2017

New Delhi: India’s $10-billion single-engine fighter jet deal is believed to have hit a stumbling block over the contentious issue of transfer of technology (ToT) and equity participation. This is while negotiations are on for the purchase of more Rafale jets from France.

The two main contenders for the deal — Lockheed Martin and SAAB — have made it clear to the Defence Ministry that they will not go in for a complete transfer of technology (ToT) with 49 per cent equity participation in the joint ventures that they have inked with their respective Indian partners, sources told BusinessLine.

Under the defence foreign direct investment rules, global OEMs can invest more than 49 per cent with prior government approval. However, the fighter-jet deal has to be executed under the new ‘Strategic Partnership’ (SP) policy, and as per the norms laid out in this policy, it is the Indian entity that will have a controlling stake with 51 per cent.

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INR 22,000-crNavycopter project gets the nod

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Oct. 31, 2017

New Delhi: The Ministry of Defence approved acquisition of 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) in a INR ₹21,738-crore deal for the Indian Navy under the Strategic Partnership (SP) policy.The deal, which has been pending for almost seven years, was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman, here on Tuesday, according to Defence Ministry sources.

“DAC approved the 111 Naval Utility Helicopter for Navy under Make in India,” an official told BusinessLine.

According to sources, while 16 will be bought in fly-away condition, the remaining 95 choppers will be manufactured at a later stage in India under a joint venture by a private sector Indian defence firm in collaboration with a foreign helicopter maker. The RFI (Request for Information) for the project was issued in August and global OEMs have been asked to respond to it by November 15. The earlier deadline to respond to the RFI was October 15, which was later extended, sources added.

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India, Italy to form joint defence panel

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Oct 30, 2017

New Delhi: India and Italy have decided to strengthen their defence ties with greater dialogue and interaction between defence firms on both sides even as the ₹3,600-crore AgustaWestland chopper scam has taken yet another turn.

During a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni, both sides decided to establish a Joint Defence Committee to enhance and encourage a “structured dialogue” between Indian and Italian defence firms, according to the joint statement.

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India, Japan to step up defence cooperation

download (11).jpgSource: The Hindu Business Line, Sept 06, 2017

India and Japan have agreed to collaborate closely in defence production, including on dual-use technologies, as the two countries resolved to ramp up overall military engagement under the bilateral special strategic framework.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera yesterday held wide-ranging talks, as part of the India-Japan annual defence ministerial dialogue in Tokyo during which issues relating to the US-2 amphibious aircraft also figured, a joint press statement said.

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Ashok Leyland signs MoU with Russian, Indian firms for defence supply

Source: Business Standard, Sept 06, 2017

Ashok Leyland Defence Systems (ALDS), part of Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation with Rosoboronexport (ROE), Russia, and an Indian firm ELCOM Group, to provide tracked vehicle solutions to Indian armed forces.Rosoboronexport (ROE), Russia, is the only state-run firm in Russia for export of an entire range of military products and technologies. ELCOM Group is a player in strategic electronics, avionics and tactical communication globally.

Vinod K Dasari, managing director of Ashok Leyland said, “The signing of this MoU is a step in the direction as this new partnership allows Ashok Leyland to provide all types of tracked vehicle solutions to Indian armed forces.

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Amandeep Singh, head-defence, Ashok Leyland said the company is happy that ROE has chosen ALDS and ELCOM as its partners in India to address the tracked vehicle upgrade programme of Indian armed forces.

“The issue of indegenisation and availability of service and parts, which has been an area of concern, will now be addressed as ALDS and ELCOM will be responsible for manufacturing in India and also providing life cycle support,” he added.

Ashok Leyland has been a supplier of logistics and special role vehicles to the Indian Army for the past 25 years.

Arun Jaitley holds talks with Japan Defence Minister to boost military ties

download (5).jpgSource: Business Standard, Sept 05, 2017

Tokyo: India and Japan on Tuesday resolved to further strengthen military cooperation as the two countries held wide-ranging talks on bilateral defence and security ties amid escalating tension in the region in the wake of the powerful nuclear test by North Korea.

A range of bilateral and regional issues relating to security and defence were deliberated at length during talks between Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera here, officials said.Jaitley also called on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and discussed ways to deepening defence and security co- operation.
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One of the biggest ever global tenders issued by Narendra Modi government for 234 helicopters for Indian Navy

Source: Financial Express, Aug 24, 2017

New Delhi: In one of the biggest global tenders for helicopters issued recently, a Request for Information (RfI) was issued by the ministry of defence for over 200 helicopters for Indian Navy under the new strategic partnership (SP) model. The RFI has been sent to several companies including US based Bell Helicopters, Sikorsky (which has been acquired by Lockheed Martin) and Airbus of Europe for 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) and 123 Naval Multi-role Helicopters (NMRH), with anti-submarine warfare capabilities. The companies have to respond by October 6, 2017. According to the RfI, both tenders were under the SP model that was recently approved by the government under the Defence Procurement Procedure-2016. Both will be global tenders for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM). The SP model envisages the establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with qualified Indian industry majors, wherein the Indian industry partners would tie up with global original equipment manufacturers, to seek technology transfer and manufacturing know-how to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains in defence manufacturing. As reported by FE earlier, four sectors have been finalised for the model — fighter aircraft, helicopters, submarines and armoured fighting vehicles and main battle tanks. The proposals for the NUH and NMRH were pending for long as the finalisation of Strategic Partnership model took long. The Naval Utility Helicopters will replace the aging fleet of Chetak helicopters. The Indian Navy has been facing a shortage of helicopters, and requires the Multi-Role Helicopters for deployment on its warships.

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