SOURCE: ABHOY ROY / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
With long pending ‘Strategic Partnership’ (SP) policy cleared recently, India will soon select an Indian Private Defence company which will head a segment which would tie up with global OEMs to seek technology transfers and manufacturing know-how to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains.
One of key Strategic Partnership segment which will be opened up to Indian private sector which will be assembling fighter jets for Indian Air Force and first partner who will be leading this segment obviously will be winning the OEM who wins the Single-engined fighter jet with whom they have tied up in India for local assembling.
Lockheed Martin Corp is leaning towards Tata Advanced Systems Ltd to partner in India to build its F-16 fighter jet in India, which can also handle upgradations and modernisation of potentially 300 F-16s operated by the other customers.
Lockheed and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd for last 5 years has contracted Tata to build tail sections and wing box components for the C-130 cargo planes as a part of global supply chain. If Lockheed wins a contract in India then Tata will become part of global supply chain for F-16s in production, modernisation and maintenance of this jets in India.
Makers of Gripen fighter jets are in talks with Adani Defence Systems & Technologies Ltd for a manufacturing partnership for local assembly of its Gripen-E in India if they win the contract in India. Gautam Adani owner of Adani Group is seen close to Prime minister Narinder Modi.
Adani Aero Defence Systems & Technologies Ltd already has signed up with Israel’s Elbit-ISTAR and India’s Alpha Design Tech to make a foray in the field of unmanned Aircraft Systems which can help drive indigenization and localisation requirements to be aligned to the PM Modi’s Make in India initiative.
It is clear now that neither Tata Advanced Systems Ltd and Adani Aero Defence Systems & Technologies Ltd which will assist in assembly of next fighter jet that will be build in India . Many Defence Anayst also say that Strategic Partnership Policy will act has a major boost to any company which will be segment leader in fighter department ,since not only it will be lead private company in single engined fighter deal but also will be go to company if goverment plans to locally assemble any other fighter in India in near future .
Company which will get head start in this segment most likely will also lead in future contracts worth billions in next two decades to come . Both Tata Advanced Systems Ltd and Adani Aero Defence Systems & Technologies Ltd have high political connections in the Indian political circle which might influence any future deals in India , but atleast for now OEMs will be leading the show but in future it might be different case all together .