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L&T, European co MBDA tie up for missiles

Times of India:  February 15, 2017

NEW DELHI: Engineering conglomerate L&T entered into a joint venture on Monday with European defence major MBDA to develop and produce new-generation tactical missiles for the Indian armed forces.

L&T will own 51% in the JV , named 'L&T MBDA Missile Systems' to be registered in India, with the European company holding 49%, in keeping with FDI norms in defence. The JV will initially work to develop and supply fifth-generation, anti-tank guided missiles, missiles for coastal defence batteries and high-speed target drones to the Indian forces.

L&T group executive chairman A M Naik said his company also hopes to ink the Army's Rs 4,600-crore contract for 100 tracked, self-propelled guns within a month or so. The K9 Vajra-T Howitzer has been developed by L&T in collaboration with Korean company Samsung Techwin, as was earlier reported by TOI.

As for the JV, Naik said L&T and MBDA, which is the world's largest exporter of missiles, have been already working together for over five years now. "We feel the time has now come to strengthen the partnership for the government's `Make in India' initiative," he said.

MBDA CEO Antoine Bouvier, said, "Our business strategy in India has always been focused on forming partnerships at the deepest level, not just with the armed forces but also with the Indian industry . The setting up of the JV is a natural progression...It's a strategic partnership between India and Europe."

The JV will bid for different military projects under the new IDDM (indigenous design, development and manufacturing) category of the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016, which has been accorded top-most priority by the government to boost the country's fledgling defence-industrial base.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.