June 17, 2016 9:59:39 pm
Government has decided in principle to allow export of missile systems to ‘certain’ countries who have friendly relationship with India, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said Friday.
“The government had taken a very conscious decision about 4-5 months ago that 10 per cent of the missile capacity will be permitted to be exported if producers manage to get export orders subject to parameters set by the union government and External Affairs Ministry,” he told reporters here.
Policy of export was always existing earlier, but the problem was lack of spare capacity after meeting requirement of the country’s armed forces, he said, adding that the production capacity for various missile systems like ‘Akash’ had been been improved now.
“In-principle decision has been taken to allow exports to certain countries who are in friendly relationship with us…if they manage to export, then we would enhance the capacity by 10 per cent so that the forces are not deprived,” he said.
Parrikar, here for the inaugural flight of indigenous basic trainer aircraft Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40), was responding to a question on export policy.
On possible export of BrahMos missiles to Vietnam, which he had visited earlier this month, he said the Southeast Asian country had expressed interest and a group would be set up to discuss about their requirement.
About Rafale fighter plane deal, the Defence Minister said discussion between both sides had concluded and he was waiting for a report from the Indian team which had held negotiations.
“….may be next week I should receive their report, once the report is received, the Ministry will analyse it and then it will go to the government,” he said.
The deal was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April last year during his visit to France when he said India would purchase 36 Rafales in a government-to-government contract.
To a question about the delay, he said “…I think we are now fast coming to a conclusion.”
Asked about the standby, if the deal does not come through, Parrikar said: “I don’t think you should see it fromthe negative side, because it is a declaration by two governments and we have signed in principle memorandum also.”
Noting that the finalization of the deal was not very far, he said “we waited almost 14-15 years for acquisition. “This is not a big time if you compare;…it is a big purchase we have to be careful.”
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