New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian Army has selected eleven priority defense projects worth $2.8 billion to be awarded to the private sector, in what is being seen as a bid to hasten the plugging of critical shortage.
Development of short-range remotely piloted aircraft system has an indicative cost of approximately $350 million. The Indian Army wants to purchase the robotic surveillance platform for the Rashtriya Rifles battalions which primarily tracks terrorist hide-outs in urban or built up areas.
The Indian Army has not fixed a definite timeline for such purchases. However, earlier this year, the defense ministry had indicated that arms and ammunitions worth $3 billion would be purchased from domestic manufacturers over the next decade. Till recently, projects involving the production of arms and ammunitions were exclusively awarded to government owned ordnance factories.
Apart from the above-mentioned contracts, the Ministry of Defense recently floated tenders for the supply of 125mm armor piercing guns for T-90 & T-72 tanks, 40mm multiple grenade launcher/under barrel grenade launcher, 30mm ammunition used by armored infantry carrying vehicle, 122mm grad rockets for Pinaka series and bi-modular charge system.
The tender requires Indian private companies to forge a joint venture with foreign firms for the purpose of manufacturing specific products with complete transfer of technology. The foreign firm, however, would not hold a major stake in such joint venture.