BENGALURU: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said no communication has come through from the US administration headed by President Donald Trump about checkmating firms like Lockheed Martin which plan to move to production line to India to roll out the latest version of F-16 fighter jets.
The defence minister, however, stated that any original equipment manufacturer (OEM) must get approval of respective government before setting up such facilities in the country. “If someone wants to shift their plant to India, or set up a new one, it is not an issue. But if these original equipment makers are proposing something (local production), they will have to get their government's approval.
That is my requirement,” Mr Parrikar told the media after inaugurating Aero India 2017 here, adding that the main condition for the contract to supply hundreds of fighter planes to the Indian Air Force (IAF) is that it has to be made in India, in collaboration with a strategic local partner.
Lockheed's plan is to build the F-16 to equip the Indian Air Force and not ship them from the United States. The other firm in competition to supply single-engine fighter jets, SAAB of Sweden, demonstrated its Gripen-E, while Lockheed displayed F-16 V at the air show.
Global leaders must tie up with local players, says Satheesh Reddy
Global leaders should tie up with local players to develop components to supply them to aerospace, civil and defence sectors, said Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister, here on Monday.
At the Global CEOs’ conclave on aerospace and defence manufacturing opportunities in Andhra Pradesh under the Make in India initiative, he said that there has been a massive demand for cutting-edge technologies, like optical sensors, bio sensors, nano sensors, hybrid sensors and propellants among others. India with its smooth Foreign Direct Investment policy is focusing on Indian design development, he said.
The country is looking at investments in advanced manufacturing and processing technology. If an investor has the design capability, but lacks infrastructure, the hole can be filled with local players. Investors should desist from setting up manufacturing units in areas where local players already exist, he requested. To promote Make in India, the government is planning a tech development fund and will extend incentives to investors, he said.
Mr J. Krishna Kishore, ex-officio secretary, Andhra Pradesh government, said that AP has ample opportunities to invest. “India is the lowest taxed and FDI liberal country. Investors can not only invest, but also send their profits back to their countries,” he said.
Andhra Pradesh has six airports, and half-a-dozen more will be added to make the state investor friendly, he said, and pointed out that according to a survey, Andhra Pradesh tops the list of states in ease of doing business because of its liberal policies.
“We have an investment-tracker facility and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu himself monitors the movement of files and there is no scope for any delay,” he said. “AP does not have the typical problems of power, manpower, road network and connectivity. It has strong and stable political policies,” said Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju.