US-based defence firms, who are competing to win deals worth billions of dollars to manufacture military equipment for the Army, Navy and Air Force under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme and the ‘Strategic Partnership Policy’ of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) want assurance that they will not have to part with proprietary technology, Reuters has reported.
According to the report, the companies also do not want to be held responsible for the quality of equipment that is manufactured in partnership with firms in India.
Defence equipment manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing, who are competing to win contracts to built medium multi-role combat aircraft for the Indian Air Force and supply 56 fighters capable of carrier operations respectively, have offered to move their production lines to India.
The firms have also selected local partners to comply with the terms of the Strategic Partnership Policy, which has been introduced to promoted local firms in India and boost their capability to produce sophisticated military equipment.
Last month, the US-India Business Council (USIBC) wrote to India’s Defence Minister seeking a guarantee that US firms would retain control over sensitive technology, even if they are a junior partner in the joint venture.
“Control of proprietary technologies is a major consideration for all companies exploring public and private defense partnerships,” the letter read.
This comes as a new hurdle for the MoD, which has been looking at full transfer of technology as a way to boost military industrial complex in India.
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