Saab Speak: “Everyone wins - when we Make in India”
India’s vision for the defence and aerospace industry is clear: Make in India is the future, so that India can reduce import of defence equipment, become more self-sufficient and export more to other nations.
But what does Make in India really mean? We could look at Make in India as talking about manufacturing components and doing final integration of systems. We could talk about transferring old assembly lines from foreign countries, and putting together kits in India. But Sweden, and Saab, see partnerships quite differently.
When it comes to industrial cooperation in any partner country, Saab always chooses to expand the debate – so that both countries leverage their strengths and gain in skill development, design and engineering for future generations of systems, and technical education. Accordingly, Saab sees Make in India as a way to make India’s defence industry the centre of the next technology revolution in Defence. This would mean looking at not just assembly, but at capability development at all levels. Including system and sub-system research, design and development; component and system manufacturing; quality & processes; integration; and finally, support and MRO – so India’s armed forces don’t have to look abroad to repair systems, but to get them back on the field and in the skies quickly.
Such capability development will ensure that in the coming decades, India is not simply licence producing foreign fighters and missile systems, but is designing and developing its own platforms that compete with the best in the world.
Saab’s Make in India vision, for systems such as Gripen aircraft, Saab’s AESA fighter radar and RBS 70 NG VSHORAD and BAMSE SRSAM missile systems, focuses on capability development from day one. It involves transfer of critical latestgeneration technology to Indian industry. It involves working closely with Indian partner companies and suppliers at all levels, to design and develop the most advanced systems and sub-systems in India. It involves research and development partnerships between Indian and Swedish universities. It involves introducing the world’s most stringent yet proficient processes and quality systems that will enable India to design, develop, produce and support future defence platforms - that are then exported to the rest of the world.
Saab is not new to India. In 2016, it celebrated forty years of partnership with India’s armed forces and industry, through a technology partnership with the Ordnance Factory Board on the Carl Gustaf System, a partnership that is still going very strong.
Saab today, works with some extremely proficient Indian companies such as Tech Mahindra on an R&D collaboration in Hyderabad, doing development work on the Gripen E and the next generation Carl Gustaf system; with Aequs, with whom Saab have a joint venture that manufactures aerostructure assembles in Belgaum; Mahindra Aerospace, CIM Tools and Tata Advanced Materials on commercial aerostructures components, Elcome Integrated Systems, on the National Automatic Identification System, which is protecting 7,500 km of India’s coastline against unknown vessels; Ashok Leyland on trucks for Saab’s BAMSE SRSAM missile system, and on truck simulators for the Indian Army; and Bharat Forge, who is Saab’s main partner in India for some of key missile programmes.
A growing partnership between Sweden and India is going to greatly benefit both countries – and help jointly develop the aerospace and defence systems that will set the global standard in the decades to come. Saab has an extensive blueprint prepared for customising, manufacturing and further developing the world’s most advanced combat aircraft, the Gripen E, in India, with Indian companies. This will expand R& D initiatives in India, given the success of current design and engineering collaborations in India. It aims to build the world-class air defence systems, the BAMSE SRSAM, the RBS 70 NG VSHORAD system and the pathbreaking anti-ship missile system – the RBS15 Mk3 – in India.
Saab wants to do all this in partnership with Indian industry.
Because Indo- Swedish Aerospace & Defence systems should be the best in the world.
That is why Saab will Make in India.