India can export fighter planes, missiles: DRDO chief

The DRDO chief was asked about a recent comment by the Prime Minister that India should produce arms for itself and also supply them to other nations.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Published: June 22, 2014 1:29 pm

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressing on the need for increasing arms exports, DRDO has said India can sell combat aircraft and missiles whose production cost would be “much lower” than some of the weapons sold by countries such as China.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief Avinash Chander said that the country needs a “policy mechanism” for exporting weapon systems and the defence research agency has suggested a “single window clearance” for sale of arms to friendly foreign countries in a time-bound manner.

“We have a list of equipment that includes the Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’, ‘Akash’ air defence system, ‘Prahar’ class of missiles and ‘BrahMos’ supersonic cruise missiles along with a number of systems that can be exported,” he told PTI.

“We are discussing the methodology for developing the export potential as well as a policy mechanism for export of weapon systems,” Chander said.

The DRDO chief was asked about a recent comment by the Prime Minister that India should produce arms for itself and also supply them to other nations.

Tejas is a lightweight, multi-role, single-engine tactical fighter aircraft. Akash, a surface-to-air missile, has a range of 25 kms.

Prahar is a 150 km-range tactical missile system while BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile with a strike range of 290 kms.

Asked about the cost-benefit for countries procuring arms from India, Chander said, “Many times Indian weapons are a lot cheaper.

“There are various other systems, like if you take strategic missiles, the long-range missiles that China sells to Saudi Arabia and the cost at which we produce, it would be
one-third or one-fourth,” he said.

Chander said, “We can talk only about the price at which people sell and what comes out in published figures about the contracts of the day. By that, our production cost would be much lower. What will be the export cost, that will be the policy decision of the government.”

He said for getting into the business of arms exports, the country “needs a framework on what can be exported. It depends on which country, how to protect misuse”.

He said there are always a number of issues related to arms exports which need to be addressed.

“What we are suggesting is that there should be a single window clearance system for export of weapons in a timebound manner,” the DRDO chief said.

He said several countries have shown interest in the Akash missile system, which was ready to be inducted into the Army.

Chander said there was a scope for exporting 500-1,000 “cost competitive” indigenously developed LCA Tejas combat aircraft.

LCA is likely to be ready for induction into IAF by the end of this year after attaining the Final Operational Clearance (FOC).

India depends on imports for meeting more than 65 per cent of its weapons requirement and has been branded as largest importer of arms by international think tanks.

So far, India has exported only assault rifles, a few helicopters along with some small naval vessels to friendly foreign countries.

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  1. S
    Mar 2, 2018 at 10:00 am
    Hi, Great News we love our DRDO, KEEP EXPORTING. OUR CHILDREN NEED S AND BETTER FUTURE. Thanks Srinidhi
    1. Deva s
      May 7, 2016 at 12:58 pm
      When the developed countries make money using arms , Why shouldn't a developing country try to do business. ! Make it happen DRDO.
      1. P
        PRASAD SN
        Jul 5, 2014 at 4:28 am
        DRDO chief should look in the mirror and ask whether DRDO is doing the primary job of satisfying the Army,Navy and IAF for the last 65 years! DRDO is perhaps the one biggest hurdle for excellence and self sufficiency of our armed forces. Now, this man talks of exports, as though he and his organisation are God's gift to the Nation. DRDO in its present form must be disbanded and rebuilt from the scratch. There is a joke among the service officers that stan and China are very sure that the Indian Armed Forces can never give any tangible opposition as long as the DRDO exists.
        1. A
          Nov 21, 2014 at 7:10 am
          DRDO have best capability and can being able to exports the weapons the director have good vision for weapons business go ahead DRDO
          1. Satya Ramchander
            Jun 22, 2014 at 11:07 am
            this is very good and positive news.our scientists are extremely capable, given proper encouragement they will do wonders. this initiative should be encouraged and a suitable mechanism put in place to make it a reality and a viable proposition.
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