India forms committee to support exports of ‘military platforms’
The government of India has established a committee to support exports of military platforms, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in New Delhi has said.
In a statement on 30 December the MoD said the new committee will provide “faster approvals” for international sales of “major military platforms” including coastal surveillance systems, radar and air platforms, and the Akash surface-to-air missile system.
The committee, it said, will comprise India’s defence minister, the minister of foreign affairs, and the country’s national security advisor, which leads the government’s National Security Council.
The MoD said the new committee will be focused on platforms – as opposed to components and subsystems – with the aim to “improve [the country’s] defence products and make them globally competitive”. It added, “So far Indian defence exports [have] included parts and components etc. The export of big platforms [has been] minimal.”
The committee’s responsibilities, the MoD said, will be to “authorise exports of major indigenous platforms” and to explore “various options” in facilitating such trade including bilateral government accords.
In the same MoD statement, it said India’s Cabinet has also approved for export the medium-range Akash missile system, which is produced by Indian firms Bharat Electronics and Bharat Dynamics.
The MoD said the Akash was inducted into the Indian Air Force and Indian Army in 2014 and 2015 respectively and it has since drawn interest by “many friendly countries”. The export version of the missile would be different to any exports, it said.
The MoD added, “Cabinet approval [for Akash exports] will facilitate Indian manufacturers to participate in [tenders] issued by various countries”.