India to supply state-of-the-art missiles to international markets

The 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.

The 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.

Reflecting 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.”

BDL 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.”

The 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 missile solutions.

With 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 Europe’s 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.