provided by Peter Gutsmiedl, the Asia Pacific head of operations of the EADS company, Cassidian, which two years ago in the run up to the MRCA deal set up a Bangalore engineering centre.
“At the conclusion of the (MRCA) deal you see us still here. We are not here for one single project although I admit it was a big one. It has not changed our long term strategy for India. I am here to build a long lasting presence for Cassidian in India,’’ Gutsmeidl said with reference to the failure of the EADS-built Eurofighter Typhoon to bag the MRCA contract. “We have a commitment to India not only as a market but also to build industrial capabilities, and this is also to be seen in the context of the EADS group. Our intention is to build a long term industrial set up with Indian capabilities. It is not just a short term activity, we are here for the long term,’’ he said.
Secretary, Defence (research and development), V K Saraswat, however, said at the seminar that despite aerospace technology development projects worth Rs 80,000 crore being underway in India, private participation in the sector had not grown to the levels expected by the DRDO. “Many industries have said that they are willing to make the investments, but for the last four to five years we have only heard talk. Ultimately, I still have to go to HAL for production. The smaller companies have not graduated from being mere component makers,’’ he said.
Saraswat added that the DRDO is ready to offer its latest UAV Rustom (set to fly this later month) for joint production through equitable participation of private industry.