India reaches out to Chile for defence exports

By: |
March 26, 2021 3:22 PM

Indian private companies in the defence sector reached out to the Chilean defence sector through a webinar on Thursday (March 26, 2021) seeking opportunities for co-development and co-production in areas of mutual interests.

bhrahmosChile was one of the first countries from the region to express interest in the Indo-Russian BrahMos Missiles.

Indian private companies in the defence sector reached out to the Chilean defence sector through a webinar on Thursday (March 26, 2021) seeking opportunities for co-development and co-production in areas of mutual interests.

Almost 130 delegates from India and Chile interacted through a webinar on Thursday, (March 26, 2021) which was organized under the aegis of Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence (MoD) through Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM). More than 100 virtual exhibition stalls from Indian companies were also set up.

Why webinars?

In order to achieve the defence export target of USD 5 billion, by 2025, the Ministry of Defence is reaching out to friendly nations through webinars to showcase the various military platforms and other equipment for exports.

South American nation Chile is the second country in the region to be part of the webinar. The first was Brazil.

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

What was the theme?

“Indian Defence Industry Global Outreach for Collaborative Partnership: Webinar and Expo”.

Secretary (Defence Production), Raj Kumar; Head of the Technological Development and Industry Division within the ministry in his opening remarks highlighted the keenness of the Indian defence industry to participate in the bidding procurement process of Chilean Armed Forces.

He also outlined the strong capabilities of the Indian defence industry in various fields, and the opportunities to form joint ventures for joint production as well as jointly co-developing various platforms.

Neeraj Gupta, Co-Chairman, SIDM, International and Exports Committee in his welcome remarks highlighted several policy initiatives taken by the Government which aim to create a long-term momentum towards the growth of the Indian Defence Industry in times to come. He also talked about the announcement of a negative list for the import of defence equipment, liberalization of FDI of up to 74 per cent under the automatic route, ease of doing business combined with a separate capital budget for indigenous weapons procurement are few examples of the liberal policies of the Government.

The webinar lasted for more than three hours.

Head of the Technological, Development and Industry Division, Ministry of Defence, Government of Chile Mr Oscar Bustos and other senior officials and company representatives participated. Presentations were made by FAMAE/S2T, ASMAR/SISDEF and ENAER/DTS.

Read| Interview: MKU is exporting Made in India Night Vision Devices, says Prachi Gupta, Vice President

And from the Indian side MKU, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Tata advanced Systems, Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), L&T and others.

How many Indian defence companies present in Chile?

Only one. Kanpur based MKU Ltd is the only company which has been present in Chile for over decade plus and the Latin America region.

Neeraj Gupta, who is also the Managing Director of MKU Ltd, in his remarks talked about the common challenges and opportunities both countries face in the areas of defense sector. “For a thriving aerospace and defense ecosystem in their respective countries, it becomes more imperative that both sides collaborate in this sector to take advantage of mutual strengths and opportunities.”

Financial Express Online has reported earlier Kanpur based MKU Limited recently executed a defence contract with Carabineros of Chile for 11,700 Ballistic Helmets. And this is with accessories worth USD 7.2 million. Diplomatic sources have confirmed that the company will be inking a contract extension worth USD 2.1 million soon. And, “The Kanpur based company has already inked an agreement for joint manufacturing with FAMAE, Chile. This is for the production of electro optics devices and armour products.

For the first time, Larsen & Tourbo (L&T) Shipbuilding entered Chile in February this year. The Chilean Navy Ship Janequeo, built by L&T., sailed into Valparaíso Harbour. This was a USD 11.5 million contract for the twin-screw ‘Anchor Handling, Towing, Supply and Standby Vessel’ (AHTSSV). And a hybrid propulsion and dynamic positioning system.

As was reported by Financial Express Online earlier, the work on the ship was carried out in Chennai.

India-Chile Defence Cooperation

As per the laws of the land, for supplying any industrial or defence equipment in Chile, companies from around the world are expected to register themselves with the Joint Staff as well as the Chilean Armed Forces.

How is the Indian Mission helping?

The Indian mission based in the capital city of Santiago, Chile has been helping the Indian companies which are interested in exploring opportunities to register with the Chilean Armed Forces.

So far companies including M/s BrahMos; M/s Goa Shipyard Ltd; M/s Azista Industries; and M/s Reliance Naval Engineering; are registered.

And, the process of registration with Chilean Armed Forces of companies including Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), New Space India Limited; Neo Power; and BEML is going on.

What opportunities for the Indian private sector companies in Chile?

Shipbuilding in one sector where the Indian shipyards can work together with the Chilean Navy which is undergoing modernization.

Plans are being firmed up to send a delegation from India to Chile and from there to visit the shipyards to understand the areas where there could be joint production and development. Since the Chilean Navy has been operating `Scorpene’ submarines since 2005, there are possibilities the two sides can work together. ASMAR-Chile’s shipyard is considered to be one of the best in the region. Others are COTECMAR-Colombia; and SIMA-Perú and all of them have full order books.

BrahMos Missiles

Chile was one of the first countries from the region to express interest in the Indo-Russian BrahMos Missiles. Financial express Online has reported earlier about the South American nation’s interest for ship and shore-based platforms. “And in mobile autonomous launchers for coastal defence batteries, ship-based weapons complex for submarines and frigates.”

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