Almost a year after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) okayed guidelines for implementing the ‘strategic partnership model’ policy — under which foreign companies can tie up with Indian firms to produce military equipment locally — US military aviation leader Lockheed Martin has said it would make F-21 fighter jets in India.
The breakthrough is expected to give a much-needed fillip to ‘Make in India’, the NDA government’s flagship initiative that has flattered to deceive so far in the defence sector. The policy on strategic collaboration had been approved in May 2017 and was made part of the defence procurement procedure, but the MoD took its time finalising the norms. The new Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, has already directed the top brass of the ministry to seek indigenous solutions as far as possible to meet the armed forces’ requirements.
The opportunity should be grabbed with both hands by the beleaguered Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a Navratna defence public sector undertaking that has remained in the news mostly for the wrong reasons in recent times. Read More
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