Posts Tagged ‘Technology transfer’

Aero India 2011 kicks off tomorrow: MMRCA and technology transfer are the issues of the day

February 8, 2011

The 5 day Aero India 2011 airshow kicks off tomorrow in Bangalore and is expected to attract over 600 equipment vendors from over 60 countries. It also brings to a head the discussions within India as to how to stimulate the indigenous aviation industry and whether offset requirements in defence procurement are effective. There is a school of thought that technology transfer should be used and that offset requirements do not contribute to developing the industry. In the background is the competition for the $10 billion, 126 MMRCA aircraft contract that must be decided in March / April.

DNA reports:

In the premier Indian defence journal, Maj Gen (Retd) Mrinal Suman — who retired from the Indian Army in 2003 and currently heads the defence technical assessment and advisory service of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) — prescribes that India, at present, urgently needs FDI in the defence and military aviation sector which is technology-centric with inherent flexibility. He has suggested that FDI could be 26% for low-tech products, while it could be 51%-74% for matured systems, and 75%-100% for cutting edge technologies.

Maj Gen Suman has decried the drastic fall in defence exports from ordnance factories from Rs41.07 crore in 2008-09 to a mere Rs12.28 crore in 2009-10, and has called it “a reflection of the nature of quality items being produced indigenously”. He has called for significantly increasing FDI and private sector’s participation in defence production and manufacture instead of just restricting to doors and frames of aircraft bodies. Suman also blasted India’s offset policy which envisages Indian companies to manufacture components worth 30% of any deal bagged by a foreign company as a seller to India. He termed it a “flawed policy” as it was not contributing to upgrading the indigenous technological base. He instead suggested that the current offset policy be amended to make transfer of technology the preferred mode.

While this is expected to take centre-stage at Aero India 2011, the intensifying contest for winning India’s $10 billion contract to procure 126 medium-weight multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCAs) will undoubtedly be the second most important issue in focus.

Not surprisingly, this is the first time ever that all six contenders for the contract are participating at an Aero India show — Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Super Viper (both from USA), MiG Corporation’s MiG-35 (Russian), Dassault’s Rafale (French), EADS’s Eurofighter Typhoon (European Union’s) and SAAB’s Grippen (Swedish).

The contest between these six, this time round, will be there for all to see with these aircraft displaying their skills and manoeuvrability to win the hearts of the Indian Air Force and ministry of defence experts who are expected to place a finger on one of them for procurement.

The IAF is procuring the 126 MMRCAs to bolster its depleting squadron strength. The IAF squadron strength is at present below the sanctioned strength — just 34 squadrons as against the sanctioned strength of thirty-nine-and-a-half.

There is a formidable Russian presence at the air show.

Russia will exhibit over 80 types of weaponry and will be represented by 35 companies at the upcoming Aero India 2011 air show, state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport said in a statement.
Russia will be represented by 35 companies, including MiG , Sukhoi, Almaz-Antei and Engineering Design Bureau.
Russia will traditionally promote MiG-35 and Su-35 fighter jets, the Yak-130 combat trainer, two versions of Il-76MD transport plane (with different engines), the Il-78MK aerial tanker and MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB naval fighters.
The Be-200 amphibious aircraft will most likely be one of the top attractions of the Russian exhibit as its popularity with foreign customers steadily grows. The plane could be used in a wide variety of roles, from maritime reconnaissance and rescue to firefighting.
Rosoboronexport and Russian helicopters will show the Mi-28NE attack helicopter, the light multirole Ka-226T and the heavy transport Mi-26. All three helicopters are currently taking part in separate Indian helicopter tenders.
The visitors will also be able to receive information about the Mi-35M combat transport helicopter, the Kamov Ka-31 radar surveillance helicopter and the Ansat and Kamov Ka-32A11BS multi-role helicopters.
The air defence part of the Russian exhibit will be represented by the Tor-M2E, the S-300VM, the Buk-M2E and the Tunguska-M1 systems.


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