Report on pvt sector entry into defence production soon

Report on pvt sector entry into defence production soon

How many Indian private companies are capable of manufacturing critical military platforms like aircraft, submarines, warships and helicopters? The answer may be known within a week when a defence ministry task force submits its final report.

“The task force report should be submitted by January 15-16 on the identification of strategic partners. The strategic partners would be selected through invitation. The capability of a company would be the deciding factor and not the price of the final product,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said here.

Headed by V K Aatre, former chief of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the task force's job is to determine the parameters on the basis of which, strategic partners would be chosen following the new defence procurement procedure (DPP). Aatre report would deal with strategic partnerships in sectors related to aircraft, helicopters, submarines, warships, armoured vehicles and ammunition.

In the DPP-2016, the defence ministry seeks to create a manufacturing base in the private sector for important military hardware, which is largely being manufactured by defence public sector undertakings and ordnance factory board units. “Since the DPSUs and OFB units works under the government shadows, the decision making is difficult because of the fear of CBI. In private sector, the work culture is different and there would be speedy decision making,” Parrikar said. Several companies like Reliance, Tata, Mahindra, Adani, Bharat Forge and L&T are eyeing these projects, worth thousands of crores. They will be able to form joint venture with foreign partners to manufacture these platforms in India.

The new plan mimics the US model where all major defence manufacturers like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and BAE are in the private sector, but operate under strict government control.

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