India’s $10 billion is believed to have hit a roadblock over contentious issues of transfer of technology (ToT) and equity participation even as negotiations for buying additional Rafale jets from French Dassault are underway.
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 Tata Advanced Defense Systems and Adani Group, BusinessLine quoted unnamed sources as saying Tuesday.
According to the defence foreign direct investment rules, a foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) can invest more than 49 percent only 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, the news daily reported.
It was clear from day one that US wouldn’t part with critical technology to India. The critical technologies in question are integrated systems for active electronically scanned array radar, electro-optical targeting pod, infrared search and track and radio frequency jammer. It may be recalled the US had refused to part with these technologies for the South Korean K-FX aircraft, a derivative of the F-16 made by Korean Aerospace Industries in association with Lockheed Martin. South Korea is building its own fighter plane closely modelled along the F-16 with a number of crucial inputs coming from Lockheed Martin.
The issue of proprietary technology was also raised by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his visit last month. He made it clear that ToT will come for a price.
These technologies form an important component of the F-16V fighter jet, the latest evolution of the world’s most successful war plane that has been offered to New Delhi. India had sought guarantee from US for technology transfer in case any US based company bids for fighter jet program under the ‘Make in India’ initiative in July this year.
It was certain by March this year that the production line would not be set up in India. Lockheed Martin started shifting production of its F-16 fighter jets to Greenville from its existing Fort Worth, Texas facility effectively burying its plans to move the production line to India.
In exchange for a large order of F-16 fighter aircraft from the Indian Air Force (IAF), Lockheed Martin had earlier offered to close its only assembly line in Fort Worth, USA and relocate it to India.
Saab has offered to design, develop, manufacture and maintain Gripen NG multi-role fighter aircraft in India through transfer of technology.
Saab has also set out a plan within India’s Make in India initiative, which will include transfer of technology; setting up of an aerospace eco-system in India, including a manufacturing facility; creation of a local supplier base; employment of a well-trained Indian workforce in engineering and manufacturing.
India has already informed the French that “not a single” Rafale will be bought in flyaway mode — they will be built in the Dhirubhai Ambani Aerospace Park, run by Reliance Aerospace Ltd and Dassault Aviation in the Mihan Special Economic Zone in Nagpur, the news daily quoted sources as saying.
Cochin Shipyard Limited, one of the largest shipbuilding and maintenance facility in India, has won a tender for manufacturing 8 anti-submarine ships for the Indian Navy under a project estimated to cost INR 5,400 crores (US$834m). The Navys project will enhance the submarine capacity of the country and will make advancements in the core capabilities, New Delhi Times reports
Swedish Saab and Indian Adani group joint venture is eyeing to produce a portfolio of products that include unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters apart from supplying fighter jets to the Indian armed forces. Asish Rajvanshi, head of the Adani Groups Defence and Aerospace division, said the joint venture was focusing on developing “foundational capabilities” to produce a wide-range of products in the aerospace sector for the domestic as well as export markets, PTI reports stated Sunday
Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and Indian Navy Chief is touring France this week where he will be visiting the French Airbase at Landivisiau and the French Submarine Facility at Cherbourg. He will be briefed on the operational employability of the Rafale aircraft by the French Air Force
Indias Home-grown light weight glide bomb, SAAW (Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon) has been successfully tested from an Indian Air Force aircraft at ITR, Chandipur, Odisha. The guided bomb released from the aircraft and guided through precision navigation system, reached the targets at greater than 70 km range, with high accuracies, The Indian Ministry of Defense said in a statement Friday
The Indian government is likely to expedite three major defense programs that include the Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV), the Tactical Communication System (TCS) and the Battlefield Management System (BMS) and is likely to approve them by year-end. Indian Defense minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has guaranteed the industry that decisions on these three projects will be expedited and approved in a time-bound manner by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) of India has set up a second production line to increase the yearly production of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas aircraft from the current 8 per year to 16 per year. To achieve this aim, HAL has decided to outsource about 70% of production work to 85 Indian companies
The Indian Air Force has said that the domestically manufactured Tejas Light Combat Aircraft is not fit enough to protect the Indian skies. The IAF said the Tejas is far behind its competitors like the JAS 39 Gripen manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab and the US made F-16 manufactured by Lockheed Martin, sources were quoted as saying by
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