To boost the ‘Make in India’ program and develop indigenous defence technologies, the Indian business house Adani is to tie up with Sweden’s Saab company for securing defence manufacturing contracts. The two are coming together for manufacture of Gripen fighter jet aircraft for the Indian Defence Forces, Saab’s chief executive Hakan Buskhe disclosed to the media on Friday.
This partnership will have to compete with the US defense giant Lockheed Martin to win a potential order from the Indian military for the single-engine jets. The fighter aircraft are to be made in India.
According to Saab CEO, the company will build a supply chain in India for Gripen after utilizing the research and development in India for other markets, for both civil aviation and defense sectors.
The Saab and Adani partnership will bid to develop about 100 single-engine fighters in a contract worth nearly $15 million. Talking more on this partnership, Buskhe said:
This has been in the works for the last several months.
This deal comes at a time when India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims to reduce India’s reliance on expensive defense imports and seeks to reinforce its military against continuous face-offs with Chinese and Pakistan on the borders.
Meanwhile, the current NDA government has raised the parameters on the amount of foreign investment in the defense sector. In doing so, it further encourages tie-ups between foreign and Indian companies under the ‘Make in India’ campaign, where the Indian partner will remain the majority stakeholder.
Presently, India is a major importer of defense equipments. It imports as much as 90 per cent of its entire materialistic defense requirements, including parts for assembly.