India’s weapons modernisation on track: Defence Minister

May 28th, 2008 - 7:51 pm ICT by admin  

Berlin, May 28 (IANS) India is keen to equip the armed forces with the best available weapon systems and as fast as possible, according to A.K. Antony, the country’s defence minister. Releasing India Strategic defence magazine’s Berlin Air Show special supplement here, Antony acknowledged that the armed forces needed to modernise their equipment and pointed out that the process in this regard was “on track.”

Besides being done as fast as possible, this process had also to be fair and transparent, he said.

In his message released here on India’ participation as the official partner country at the air show, Antony said this “marks another milestone in our cooperation with leading countries and global firms in the aviation and aerospace sector.”

“New policies to transform the Indian defence sector by actively encouraging all players - whether private, Indian or foreign - to play a larger role in defence production through mutually beneficial partnerships, private investment and technology transfers have been put in place.”

The defence minister said that cooperation between Indian and German firms in aviation would be mutually beneficial, and that an institutional framework in this regard was provided in the 2006 bilateral Defence Cooperation Agreement.

“Companies that proactively seek out industrial partners in India will enjoy advantages in our expanding market.”

Antony told newsmen later that that era of procurement alone was over and Transfer of Technology (ToT), co-desiging and co-production would be the keys to relations with foreign companies and countries.

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