After waiver, Indian defence units look for US components

After waiver, Indian defence units look for US components

"As our remaining four units have been removed from the US entity list early this week, we look forward to import raw materials, software packages and sensitive electronic components from American firms for our projects," state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) Chief Controller Prahalada told IANS here.

Amending its export administration regulations Monday, the US government removed the remaining nine space and defence-related Indian organisations from the "entity list" of its commerce department, as part of the export control policy reforms President Barack Obama announced during his Novemeber 2010 visit to India.

The DRDO entities are the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), the Defence Research and Development Lab (DRDL), the Missile Research and Development Complex (MRDC) and the Solid State Physics Laboratory (SSPL).

"We had difficulty in importing high-end technologies or products of dual use during the decade-long sanctions era. Now that the ban is lifted, US companies will send quotations for our requirements such as microwave controllers, electro-mechanical parts for manufacturing and testing components," Prahalada said on the margins of an event here.

The waiver will enable DRDO to access the most sophisticated technologies, opening the way for increased trade, commerce and jobs in both countries. Post-reform, Indian and US firms can enter into transactions involving sensitive dual-use equipment, technology and software in an expedited fashion without compromising national security.

The US sanctions were imposed after India conducted nuclear test for the second time in May 1998 at Pokharan in Rajasthan. The other five Indian organisations exempted from the entity list are the Liquid Propulsions Systems Centre, the Solid Propellant Space Booster Plant, the Sriharikota Space Centre, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre of the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Bharat Dynamics Ltd.

Earlier, DRDO Director-General V.K. Saraswat said even though the four defence units have been removed from the entity list, the US  had only taken them from the "denied list" to the "enabled list" but not from the licensing policy, which is the US government law.  

"As far the impact of removal of our units from the entity list is concerned, it is a function of the US licensing policy. Whatever is required by these entities, everything is a dual use item - be it an oscilloscope, carbon fibre or sensor, which can be used for variety of applications, from military to peaceful use and even a non-conventional use," Saraswat told reporters.

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