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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

BDL, Thales ink pact to manufacture air defence system in Bharat

Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) and Thales have signed a Teaming Agreement to work in partnership on the STARStreak Air Defence System with the support of both the Bharatiya and the UK governments.

The Teaming Agreement, signed at a virtual ceremony held on Wednesday, will facilitate manufacture of STARStreak Air Defence System in Bharat, BDL said on Thursday.

BDL, a government company under the Ministry of Defence, will become a part of the STARStreak global supply chain, providing the opportunity for export of the system to existing and future STARStreak Air Defence customers, including the UK Armed Forces through this agreement.

The STARStreak Missile System is in service in the British Army and has been procured by defence forces worldwide. The fastest missile in its category, STARStreak is unique due to its three laser-guided darts, which cannot be jammed by any known countermeasure. It has the capability to defeat any air target – even armoured helicopters – as the last line of defence.

BDL’s Director (Technical) N.P. Diwakar, Thales CEO Alex Cresswell, and Thales Vice President and Country Director, Bharat, Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, signed the agreement in the presence of BDL Chairman and Managing Director, Commodore Siddharth Mishra (retd),UK Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin, and UK Defence & Security Exports head Mark Goldsack.

BDL, in a statement, said that as a part of its global outreach, it is trying to forge alliance with foreign companies to take the ‘Make in India’ mission further.

Earlier, Thales and BDL had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to assess the opportunity for the transfer of technology for STARStreak.

“Today’s agreement will also provide opportunity for BDL to offer STARStreak missile system to the Indian Armed Forces with a minimum of 60 per cent indigenous content, as well as design and development of the system, qualifying it under the ‘Make in India’ programme,” it said.

Mishra said that the partnership between Thales and BDL in this project with transfer of technology for STARStreak will create a new business opportunity for BDL and its supply chain partners in Bharat.

“BDL will be able to enhance its footprints in the export market in addition to domestic market with this new business opportunity. The Government of India’s ‘Make in India’ programme, the ‘ease of doing business’ and recent ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives have created a congenial ecosystem for the foreign OEMs to tie up with Indian Industries like BDL to establish the production facility in India,” he added.

Cresswell said that the BDL manufactured system will be exported to various countries including UK. He noted that this is good news for Thales business in Belfast in Northern Ireland, for the strong supply chain of UK SMEs with whom it works and for its teams in Bharat.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with modified headmine and minor edits to conform to HinduPost style-guide.)

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