Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar the industry, especially those operating in the small and medium enterprises (SME) space, must collaborate closely with the Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) to develop products that would provide the thrust required to boost India’s defense exports.
The minister felt that government has taken steps in this direction and soon Indian-made missiles and weapon systems could find a pride of place in the global market, while reviewing the activities of the DRDO labs at the APJ Abdul Kalam Missile complex in Hyderabad.
There were some reports recently of India getting ready to export its Akash missiles to Vietnam following the agreement to purchase the supersonic cruise missiles BrahMos from the country. Akash is a medium range surface-to-air missile developed by the DRDO and manufactured by state-owned Bharat Dynamics Ltd.
In this context, Parrikar said the MSME sector must tap into the knowledge base and infrastructure of the DRDO, suggesting that such collaboration would go a long way towards establishing a self-reliance defense industrial ecosystem in India.
Already, there are several companies in the SME space that are contributing to the development and manufacture of defense products with knowhow provided by the DRDO. The next step is for these enterprises to grow and create the ecosystem of defense production in the country, the minister said.