India continues modernization with a strong focus on indigenization, says GlobalData

Following the news that the Indian Government finalized a deal with Airbus for 56 Airbus C295 aircraft and an order for 118 Arjun Mk-1A main battle tanks (MBTs);

Mathew George, Ph.D., Practice Head at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“India has continued its quest to modernize its fleet with the finalization of these programs for its armed forces. However, these two programs have shown two different sides of India’s acquisition process and glimpses to the possibilities of the future.

“On the one hand, you have the MBTs being produced by State owned Heavy Vehicles Factory. On the other, you have a private company joint venture, TATA Advanced Systems (TASL), gearing up to provide aircraft that are wholly built in India, with the possibility of further orders to help in exports as well.

“While the first satisfied the idea of a self-reliant India creating from scratch the defense technology that India aspired for, the second offers India the efficiency of private business and the ability to skip steps in development to gain access to locally manufactured equipment equivalent to those used by other forces around the world.

“The industry and the armed forces will look forward to how the Airbus deal develops and the feedback from the forces upon final delivery to judge the outcome of the rise of a private company to manufacture an aircraft in India. We may find a similar offering for India’s other 100+ aircraft requirement for a multi-role combat aircraft from other manufacturers to sway the decision their way.”

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