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Arms exports to get a boost as Ministry of Defence Okays 16 broad categories of products

A formal list of defence items that can be exported has been endorsed by the ministry of defence, bringing India at par with international laws governing arms trade. The move - which identifies 16 broad categories of products that can be exported after clearance - is expected to boost military trade with experts saying that it brings clarity to private companies pursuing export orders.

A military stores list, which was drawn up by the directorate general of foreign trade, has been given a go-ahead by South Block, with a new set of rules being framed to manage export clearances. What the list gives is an indication of what India wishes to export in the coming years, after it joins the Wassenaar arrangement, the international export control regime for arms

Among the items listed in the Indian military stores list are warships, tanks, armoured vehicles, ammunition, rifles and small arms, military training equipment, electronic warfare devices, software, bombs and torpedoes.

As reported by ET, the defence ministry has also relaxed earlier export control laws that require multiple end-user certificates by Indian companies wishing to export components and parts of larger systems. The two things combined, experts says, will go a long way in boosting foreign trade for Indian private companies.

To enhance strategic exports the authorities have taken two broad steps in one go. The adoption of the military stores list brings our export control regime in consonance with international laws, whilst the non-requirement of an ultimate end-user certificate for components significantly reduces the chance of a domestic company having to lose out on becoming a part of an OEMs global supply chain," Ankur Gupta of Ernst and Young India told ET.

Indian private companies are already exporting items but this is still a trickle of their true potential. Tata Advanced Systems Limited makes components and parts for Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky and Pilatus. A small company like Kineco makes composite consoles for Boeing while Bengaluru-based Dynamatics counts Boeing, Bell and Airbus as its clients.

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Boost for defence: India & US explore opportunities for cooperation on aircraft carrier technology

Seeking to deepen defence ties, the US Navy recently hosted a delegation of senior Indian naval officers for the inaugural "Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Cooperation" on the US eastern coast.

During a three-day visit, the Indian delegation, led by Vice Admiral SPS Cheema, Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, visited the US Navy's state-of-the-art aircraft carrier, PCU Gerald Ford, currently under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

During the working group the US and Indian navies held candid and open discussions on various aspects of aircraft carrier development, including design, integration, test, evaluation, management and oversight of carrier construction," said a US Embassy release.

The Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation, co-chaired by United States Navy's Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers, RADM Tom Moore, and India's Controller for Warship Production and Acquisition, VADM GS Pabby, is part of the larger India-US Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

The intent of DTTI is to reduce procedural obstacles in both the US government and Government of India defence establishments in order to facilitate broader cooperation in defence production as a component of the strategic partnership. The Indian Ministry of Defence identified aircraft carrier technology as one of the topics of interest to pursue under DTTI.

The working group is looking forward to setting a meeting agenda for the next working group to be held in India early next year.

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18 August 2015
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