With India opening up its defence sector, a leading European missile company is keen to strengthen its foothold in the country by developing and advancing partnerships with the Indian industry both in the public and private sectors.
MBDA, a venture of European aerospace group EADS, Britain’s BAE Systems and Italy’s Finmeccanica with an annual turnover of 2.6 billion euros, has been present in India as a supplier, partner for the past 30 years.
“This gives us a reasonable understanding of Indian defence industry and defence needs,” MBDA Group Country Head (India) Loïc Piedevache said.
As India is looking to meet 70 per cent of its defence requirement from indigenous sources, MBDA is keen to work hand in hand with Indian industry to help it achieve that target.
The company is working with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop next generation short range surface-to-air missiles.
“It’s a mutually rewarding project and will also allow MBDA to fulfill a gap into its product range and be an opportunity for close and fruitful cooperation with DRDO specialists.”
“The Indian defence market is growing rapidly in India and the current figures put this growth at around 8-10 per cent per annum. The budget for 2010 is 25billion euros,” he said.
Piedevache also said that MBDA is facing strong competition from the US and Israel defence industry in India.
“Israel has a very strong hold on Indian defence procurement and the US is starting to make inroads. Competition is good for India. It will ensure that India gets the best equipment. I believe that MBDA has unmatched capabilities that it can offer to the Indian customer, not only in terms of technology and performance but also in the through life support we provide.”
(The writer’s travel and stay for the story were provided by MBDA)