Chile receives Ballistic Helmets and a ship from Indian companies

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Updated: Feb 25, 2021 2:24 PM

As reported by Financial Express Online first, in March 2020, the Chilean Navy acquired an Anchor Handling Towing Supply and Standby Vessel (AHTSSV) ocean support vessel for a value of USD 11.5 million.

India, Chile, Larsen and Tourbo, Carabineros, Ballistic Helmets, MKUPost-COVID, several countries in the LAC region are looking at the other countries including India for importing various military platforms for their armed forces as well as solutions for their Homeland Security. (File Photo)

Kanpur based MKU Limited has executed a defence contract with Carabineros of Chile for 11,700 Ballistic Helmets with accessories worth US$ 7.2 million. The Indian company which is the only one exporting to the LAC region is expected to sign a contract extension worth US$ 2.1 million shortly.

Diplomatic sources have confirmed to Financial Express Online on Wednesday that “The Kanpur based MKU has also signed an agreement for joint manufacturing with FAMAE, Chile for armour products and electro optic devices.”

Also Read: Global market is quite big, presents lot of opportunity for Indian defence companies: Neeraj Gupta, MD, MKU Ltd

Larsen & Tourbo (L&T) Shipbuilding enters Chile

In the first-ever, on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, the Chilean Navy Ship Janequeo, built by Indian company Larsen and Toubro Ltd., sailed into Valparaíso Harbour.

The Indian Mission in Chile tweeted that USD 11.5 million contract for the twin-screw ‘Anchor Handling, Towing, Supply and Standby Vessel’ (AHTSSV), with hybrid propulsion and dynamic positioning system, was awarded to L&T by Chile in March 2020.

As reported by Financial Express Online first, in March 2020, the Chilean Navy acquired an Anchor Handling Towing Supply and Standby Vessel (AHTSSV) ocean support vessel for a value of USD 11.5 million.

As reported earlier, this unit was part of an order for the supply of four supply vessels (PSVs) and two vessels which specialise in towing and anchoring of offshore platforms (AHTSSV) in 2013 by Halul Offshore Services Co. WLL (HOSC) from Qatar to L&T Shipbuilding.

“The acquisition of the ship was through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route of the US, and is expected to be managed by the Naval Sea Systems Command (Navsea),”sources had confirmed to Financial Express Online last year.

In March 2020, the Pentagon issued a press statement regarding the contract for a Special Naval Vessel for Chile being given to India’s L&T.  This is for the first time that an Indian Company was awarded a contract by the US Department of Defence for building a specialised supply vessel for the South American nation’s Navy. The value of the contract is USD $11.5 million.

As was reported by Financial Express Online earlier, the work was performed in Chennai, which involved hybrid propulsion and dynamic positioning system, and hull number 71010 for a twin-screw Anchor Handling, Towing, Supply and Standby Vessel (AHTSSV).

According to the statement issued last year, this contract was not competitively procured, in accordance with 10 US Code 2304(c) (4) (international agreement).

India-Chile Defence Cooperation

In 2020, Financial Express Online had reported that as per the laws for supplying any industrial or defence equipment in Chile, the companies from the world over are expected to register themselves with the Joint Staff as well as the Chilean Armed Forces.

Also Read: India to challenge China’s foray in South America; To explore defence export opportunities

The Indian Mission located in Santiago, Chile has been helping the Indian companies to register with the Chilean Armed Forces. Prominent among the Indian companies who have registered so far include:  M/s Brahmos; M/s Azista Industries; M/s Reliance Naval Engineering; M/s Goa Shipyard Ltd.

And the companies which are in the process of getting themselves registered include: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), New Space India Limited; Neo Power; and BEML.

Opportunities for the Indian private sector companies in Chile

According to sources, since the Chilean Navy is undergoing modernisation, there are huge opportunities for the Indian shipyards as well as other companies.  There are plans to invite a Chilean delegation to visit the Indian Shipyards to identify the areas where there could be joint production with ASMAR and development. The Chilean Navy has operated the `Scorpene’ submarines since 2005. Over the years the South American nation has developed operational and maintenance expertise.

How does this help India?

Indian Navy too has `Scorpene’ subs in its fleet. Cooperation in various areas including the training, procedures, and documentation, syllabi, maintenance and repair aspects including inventory management can be explored.

Shipbuilding prospects with the South American Shipyards

There are three best shipyards which are located in the region. These include COTECMAR-Colombia; ASMAR-Chile and SIMA-Perú. These shipyards have full order books.

Defence Exports to the Region

Post-COVID, several countries in the LAC region are looking at the other countries including India for importing various military platforms for their armed forces as well as solutions for their Homeland Security.

Also Read: Boost for Make in India in Defence; India gets ready to export military platforms to friendly nations

As reported earlier, the largest buyer of military platforms as well as weapons from China is Venezuela and this is followed by Bolivia & Ecuador.

Why does the region need these?

The need is countering the drug cartels in the region which is plagued by narco-terrorism.  And for fighting against transnational organized crime and drug trafficking, the region has witnessed an increased need for modern protection equipment for their security forces as well as the modernization of the forces in the region.

Also Read: India to export BrahMos missiles to friendly nations, say sources

What can India export?

From night vision devices, body armour, small arms, military communications C4I solutions, artillery systems, protected vehicles, electronic warfare, naval combat management system, missiles systems and other related military equipment.

Also Read: India should play a larger role in Central America’s development and can offer security solutions, say experts

Countries that could be interested from the region

Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, México, Honduras and others.

 

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