India Crafting Path For Exporting Its Missiles: Official

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
June 25, 2014, 8:56 a.m.

The head of In­dia’s biggest weapons agency says that the coun­try will soon be ready to ex­port in­di­gen­ously de­veloped bal­list­ic and cruise mis­siles.

“We are dis­cuss­ing the meth­od­o­logy and policy mech­an­ism for the ex­port of in­di­gen­ously de­signed weapon sys­tems,” Avinash Chander, head of the De­fense Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­iz­a­tion told the Press Trust of In­dia in re­cent days.

Loc­ally de­veloped weapons that could be ex­por­ted at com­pet­it­ive prices in­clude the non­stra­tegic Pra­har bal­list­ic mis­sile, the sur­face-to-air Akash mis­sile and the Brah­mos su­per­son­ic cruise mis­sile, which was jointly de­veloped with Rus­sia, he said, ac­cord­ing to IHS Jane’s De­fence Weekly.

Chander as­ser­ted that In­dia’s lower pro­duc­tion costs would al­low it to com­pete with China in of­fer­ing me­di­um-range bal­list­ic mis­siles for sale to Saudi Ar­a­bia.

Not every­one is so op­tim­ist­ic about In­dia’s weapons ex­port pro­spects. “The DRDO’s de­clar­a­tions on ex­port­ing de­fense equip­ment are noth­ing but wish­ful think­ing,” said pro­cure­ment spe­cial­ist re­tired Maj.Gen Mrin­al Su­man in an in­ter­view with Jane’s. “Un­able to even re­motely meet loc­al needs, all talk about ex­ports is laugh­able.”

Thus far, In­dia has not been a ma­jor weapons ex­port­er, but the re­cent de­vel­op­ment of more ad­vanced sys­tems, such as the su­per­son­ic Brah­mos mis­sile has had In­dia mov­ing more con­fid­ently in re­cent years in dis­play­ing its wares at de­fense shows, ac­cord­ing to Jane’s.

Chander said mul­tiple na­tions were in­ter­ested in im­port­ing the mul­tipur­pose Akash mis­sile. The DRDO chief, though, de­clined to name any pro­spect­ive cus­tom­ers.

In­dia is not a mem­ber of the Mis­sile Tech­no­logy Con­trol Re­gime though it is cam­paign­ing for mem­ber­ship.

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