International defence companies are jostling with each other to get a toehold in the Indian market.
Raytheon, the world’s sixth largest defence company, is seeing India as a big growth market in the next five years. “India is a small market as of now. But five years down the line, it could have a huge potential,” Raytheon president Taylor Lawrence said. The US-based company is aggressively marketing its products and is keen on selling new weapon systems for fighter aircraft, infrastructure security and hardware for missile defence to India.
It has already secured 13 MoUs with different Indian companies. Out of these seven – with Tata, Bharat, Larsen & Toubro, Godrej & Boyce, Data Patterns, Precision Electronics, Astra Microwave and Amphenol India —are for Space and Airborne Systems.
Most recently, the company has signed a deal with the Indian Air Force (IAF) to integrate its Munitions Control Unit (MCU) on the ageing Jaguar fighter aircraft.
“MCU is a plug-and-play system that enables integration of modern weapons on legacy aircraft with minimal modifications to aircraft wiring and no changes to flight and stores management software,” said Harry Schulte, Raytheon Missiles Systems VP of Air Warfare Systems.
Once MCU is integrated on a deep penetration Jaguar fighter —IAF operates five Jaguar squadrons consisting of over 100 aircraft — pilots could employ US-made Paveway precision-guided munition, AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and Mavericks.