Era of ‘procurement alone’ is over, says Antony

May 28th, 2008 - 7:11 pm ICT by admin  

Berlin, May 28 (IANS) Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony Wednesday made it clear that companies planning to sell major defence products to India must be prepared to part with technology as an essential element of the deal. Speaking to a group of correspondents shortly before his departure from Berlin, Antony said: “The era of procurement alone is over as far as India is concerned.”

“We would like to have fruitful defence cooperation with countries which are prepared to transfer technology and are interested in co-designing, co-development and co-production of defence products,” he added.

Antony was here to attend the opening of the ILA-2008 Berlin Air Show, at which India has been given the status of a Partner Country for the first time.

India’s defence procurement procedure (DPP) enunciated in 2006 mandates, among other things, the transfer of technology in all defence deals regardless of their value. The DPP is currently being fine-tuned and will be announced later this year.

Indian officials were hoping to discuss the DPP with the foreign vendors attending the air show but could not do so due to the delay in finalising the document.

Referring to India-Germany defence co-operation, Antony said he had impressed upon his German counterpart Franz Josef Jung during their meeting Monday that India was a responsible country and that Germany should be flexible towards it as far as technology transfer issues are concerned.

He was optimistic that outstanding issues in this regard would be settled soon in India’s favour.

According to him, the Berlin Air Show has given India an excellent opportunity to showcase its emerging capabilities in the defence, aviation and aerospace sectors.

“Many global giants are now showing interest in setting up their units in India and to forge collaborations with Indian companies,” the minister pointed out.

In this context, he noted that Indian aviation major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd signed a delivery contract for the supply of the first three sets of main structure components for the Dornier 228 turbo-prop aircraft.

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