Raytheon buoy­ant about In­dian mar­ket

In a press con­fer­ence held in New Delhi, Raytheon of­fi­cials demon­strated the com­pany’s var­ied so­lu­tions on of­fer for the In­dian Army

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Eye­ing for a greater pie of the grow­ing In­dian de­fence mar­ket, the US de­fence com­pany Raytheon is in talks with many In­dian pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies for pos­si­ble part­ner­ships in its var­i­ous pro­grammes—mis­siles, net­work-cen­tric sys­tems, so­lu­tions for home­land and cy­ber se­cu­rity, coastal sur­veil­lance, etc.

Ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence ahead of the Army Day in New Delhi, the com­pany of­fi­cials briefed the me­dia about the dif­fer­ent pro­grammes they have on of­fer for the In­dian Army. The com­pany is try­ing to broaden its foot­print in In­dia with the sale of its Air-to-Air Stringer, Javelin, Ex­cal­ibur, Talon laser guided rocket, Ser­pent, etc., as well as its tac­ti­cal ra­dios for In­dian de­fence forces. Raytheon’s air-to-air ver­sion of its fa­mous Stinger mis­sile is a part of the weapons pack­age with the AH-64D Block III Apache Long­bow pro­posed for the 22 at­tack he­li­copter deal of the In­dian Air Force.

The of­fi­cials though op­ti­mistic about part­ner­ships with In­dian pri­vate sec­tor for home­land and cy­ber se­cu­rity so­lu­tions, de­nied re­ports of Raytheon’s much talked about part­ner­ship with Re­liance and termed it as a ‘ru­mour’. On be­ing asked by Jayant Baran­wal, Ed­i­tor-in-Chief, to elab­o­rate on pos­si­ble In­dian part­ner­ships in In­dia and the po­ten­tial pri­vate in­dus­try part­ners, the of­fi­cials said, “Raytheon is look­ing at small and medium en­ter­prisses (SMEs), de­fence pub­lic sec­tor un­der­tak­ings and big pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies as well. The In­dian pri­vate sec­tor’s role in the civil do­main is world class, but the tricky thing is to bring them into the de­fence sec­tor. We need to fill in the gaps.” The com­pany has al­ready tied up with Pre­ci­sion Elec­tron­ics to jointly de­velop com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies for mil­i­tary and civil use.

Wil­liam L. Blair, Pres­i­dent, Raytheon In­dia, in­formed that the com­pany has de­vel­oped a ve­hi­cle-launched ver­sion of the Javelin anti-tank guided mis­sile and is in talks with Tata Mo­tors for de­vel­op­ing it to meet the In­dian re­quire­ments.

Brad Barnard, Se­nior Man­ager, In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness and Strat­egy for Raytheon Mis­siles Sys­tem (RMS) in­formed that the Raytheon’s Ser­pent mis­sile, which is ideal for In­dia’s mil­i­tary and para­mil­i­tary re­quire­ments, will be demon­strated at De­f­expo 2012. He fur­ther in­formed that the RMS has re­sponded to a re­quest for in­for­ma­tion (RFI) for 120mm mor­tar ter­mi­nally guided mu­ni­tions and is look­ing for a po­ten­tial part­ner in In­dia.

Re­ply­ing to an­other query by Jayant Baran­wal on Raytheon’s strength over its Euro­pean and Is­raeli com­peti­tors in the In­dian Army’s bat­tle­field man­age­ment sys­tem (BMS), the of­fi­cials said that sit­u­a­tional aware­ness is a cru­cial fac­tor. “Our po­ten­tial dig­i­tal ra­dio ca­pa­bil­ity with­out GPS suits well with BMS. Lack of de­pen­dency on in­fra­struc­ture and greater sit­u­a­tional aware­ness gives us an edge over our com­peti­tors.”

With re­gard to the US Gov­ern­ment’s lim­i­ta­tions on trans­fer of cer­tain tech­nolo­gies to In­dia, the com­pany said that the com­pany has had many suc­cess­ful trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy (ToT) pro­grammes across the globe un­der the US guide­lines, and is op­ti­mistic about In­dia as well. “In In­dia, we need to prove by win­ning over some key pro­grammes. We know we need to in­di­genise, but we will do that with the sup­port of the US Gov­ern­ment.”

The com­pany is also in talks with In­dian com­pa­nies for pos­si­ble part­ner­ship for Ex­cal­ibur, a pre­ci­sion-guided, lon­grange ar­tillery pro­jec­tile. “We have iden­ti­fied the core ca­pa­bil­ity in In­dia and we hope to fi­nalise the part­ner­ship soon,” said Barnard.

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