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Defence sector plans big ticket modernisation

Thursday, 18 October 2012 - 10:28am IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: dna

To place orders worth Rs100,000 crore during 12th Plan.

With India embarking on a massive defence modernisation programme, orders worth `100,000 crore is expected to be placed during the 12th Five Year plan period.

Defence and Aerospace experts participating in a panel discussion on ‘Making India the ESDM hub focus on telecom, aerospace & defence and automobiles’ at the Bangalore IT.biz on Wednesday said that with all the three armed and para-military forces set to procure latest weapons and military systems, abundant opportunities are in store for private companies.

Participating in the discussion Lt Gen AKS Chandele, former DG, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Indian Army said that orders worth `100,000 crore is expected to be placed during the 12th Five Year plan period (between 2012-2017) providing ample opportunities to the private companies.
He said that the Army will be embarking on big modernisation programme, which include acquiring tactical communication system, network centric warfare system, future infantry soldier as a system (F-INSAS) and procurement of radars, sensors and night vision devices.

He said the navy, apart from ordering about 40 vessels, will also be acquiring six diesel and nuclear submarines. Similarly the air force will be undertaking many upgrade and refurbishments.
NC Agarwal, chief executive officer of the Multi-Role Transport Aircraft Limited (MTAL), a joint venture between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Russia United Aircraft Corporation, said that many opportunities lay in the field of avionics. Apart from India developing its own aircraft, it will also be upgrading a significant number of its existing fleet. India’s First medium multi role combat aircraft (MMRCA) will roll out in four years.

Agarwal, who has been HAL’s Director (Design and Development), said the defence procurement process in India was very complicated, which led to delays in the armed forces getting the required product. Citing the example of Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) Hawk, he said that aircraft was inducted into the airforce 21 years after India began negotiations with BAE Systems.

On the 126 MMRCA programme, he said that though the request for proposal was put out to vendors in 2005 the contract has still not been finalised and that the first aircraft will manufactured in India in about four years from now.

As per the MMRCA programme, 18 aircraft will be provided in a flyaway condition by Dassault Aviation, the remaining 108 will be produced locally by HAL.

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