Delhi: Establishing a key milestone in the history
of Indian defence capabilities, MBDA, part of Europes
largest aerospace company EADS (European Aeronautics Defence
and Space Company) has signed a strategic memorandum of
understanding (MoU) with Indias Bharat Dynamics
(BDL) to jointly develop and manufacture state-of-the-art
missile systems for Indian and international markets.
MoU, which marked the conclusion of Aero India 2003,
will extend cooperation in manufacturing and strengthen
the development of all varieties of missile systems
including anti-tank, surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles
required both by the Indian Armed Forces and those abroad.
MoU was signed in the presence of French Prime Minister
Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Indian Minister of State for Defence
O Rajagopal and N S Sisodia, secretary (DP&S), Indian
ministry of defence.
at the potential India has in providing advanced defense
technology to the world, EADS CEO Marwan Lahoud says:
For the first time MBDA is engaging in a strategic
cooperation of this level with a company and a country
outside western Europe.
CEO and managing director Major General P Mohandas VSM
(Retd) adds: Such partnerships will allow BDL
to expand its activities in R&D as well as in manufacturing.
This partnership will address the export market with
the support of a strong European partner.
MoU signifies an important step towards making India
a major manufacturer of state-of-the art systems and
permits BDL to offer cutting-edge defense technological
solutions to other countries and potential markets,
besides taking the nation towards self-dependency in
an annual turnover of approximately $2 billion, an order
book of more than $13 billion and over 70 customers
in the world, MBDA is part of Europes largest
aerospace company, EADS. Through the merger of the missile
activities of Aerospatiale Matra Missiles, Matra BAE
Dynamics and Alenia Marconi Systems to create the new
company MBDA (EADS and BAE Systemshave have 37.5-per
cent share each, and Finmeccanica has 25 per cent),
EADS heads the missile market in Europe and holds the
No 2 position in the world.