Liberal face of defence procurement policy lures slew of Indian companies

Written by Huma Siddiqui | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 7 2014, 18:54pm hrs
The liberal face of defence procurement procedure 2013 stressing on Buy (Indian) and Buy and Make (Indian) categories of acquisition has encouraged a slew of Indian companies from varied backgrounds to enter the area of defence production. JK Group, Kalyani Group, L&T, and Tata Group, among others, have all lined up business strategies around areas of defence production, including design and development.

Business conglomerate JK Group on Thursday announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Deepti Electronics & Electro-Optics (DELOPT), a Bangalore-based company manufacturing defence electronics, avionics and electro-optics, through its group company Global Strategic Technologies (GST).

Pune-based engineering and technology focused Kalyani Group is intensifying its efforts to address requirements of Indian defence sector while Bharat Electronics (BEL) has signed an MoU with US-based Textron Systems Corporation for providing the Textron Systems MicroObserver Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) system to Indian security agencies.

Baba N Kalyani, chairman of Kalyani Group, said the group has invested sizeable resources to develop a wide range of products and technological capabilities to manufacture various critical items of defence systems, equipment and components. The objective is to help the country reduce its dependence on imports and save precious foreign exchange through large-scale indigenisation, said Kalyani.

According to Harsh Pati Singhania, director JK Organisation, the company is excited to contribute to this important initiative towards self-reliance in a strategic sector like defence. The government is committed to opening up the defence sector to private sector participation and, together with defence offsets, offers a significant opportunity for companies with a strong R&D and an industrial manufacturing excellence, Singhania said.

On its part Ian Walsh, Textron Defense Systems senior vice-president and general manager, said they are looking forward to working with BEL to bring the critical surveillance system to Indian government agencies that will benefit from its wide range of proven capabilities.

MV Kotwal, member of the L&T board, & president Heavy Engineering, Larsen & Toubro, said that there are excellent capabilities present with the public sector and they must be taken into account while working towards achieving the goal of indigenisation.

Similarly, India based OIS-AeroSpace is the lead OIS company for both civil and military aviation opportunities. The company has made announcements about their strategic tie-ups with global counterparts, including BCB, UK, as their OEM in India. One of the BCB technologies that OIS-AT is responsible for in the Indian market, is a new surveillance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), called the SQ-4 Recon. It is a device which fits in the palm of your hand and can be operated remotely, said Sanjay Bhandari, chairman & MD of OIS Advanced Technology.