India’s defence technology expertise is finally making a mark in the global platform. Israeli Military Industries (IMI), a Tel Aviv-based manufacturer of weapon systems, is planning to use India’s rocket launcher technology to upgrade and replace its existing American systems.
<b1>The Tatas, who had teamed up with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), to make Pinaka rocket launchers could also become part of the joint production team for the Israeli weapons contract. Pinaka is mainly used to destroy enemy troop concentration areas and communication centres in air terminal complexes. Pinaka was the first defence contract given to private companies in India. The strategic electronics division of Tata Power is manufacturing Pinaka launchers along with Larsen & Toubro.
Recently, two Tata group companies--Tata Power and Tata Advanced Systems--had signed agreements with Rafael and Israel Aviation Industries to manufacture a wide range of defence products.
The Israeli contract could soon make its way into India as the DRDO and IMI have completed several rounds of discussions. Senior executives from companies like the Tatas were also part of the exercise. “We have made a demonstration to IMI,” said a source close to the DRDO. When contacted, DRDO officials in charge of missile programmes declined to comment. A Tata Power spokesperson also declined to comment.
The size of the overseas contract could be in the range of Rs 400-500 crore while the Pinaka contract was only for Rs 200 crore.