DRDO to partner with Private Sector in Missile Production

The Defence Research and Development Organisation recently allowed the private sector firms to develop and produce missile systems. Also, they can make partnership with DRDO in Missile production. This is being done under the Development cum Production Partner Programme. The organization has already received bids for the Vertically-launched Short range Surface to Air Missile System. With this, VL-SRSAM has become the first missile programme to receive DRDO-private sector partnership.

Why are the private sectors allowed in Missile Production?

The DRDO has opened up its partnership with the private sectors in order to develop complex military systems under the Make in India project.

What are the recent DRDO-Private sector projects?

Recently DRDO helped TATA and Baba Kalyani industries to develop ATAGS howitzer. It is an artillery gun for the Indian Army.

Private Sector Participation in DRDO

  • In 2010, the then Defence Minister A K Antony ordered the restructuring of DRDO by ensuring effective participation of the private sector in defence technology.
  • So far, DRDO has been transferring technologies to the private sector for the mass production of ordnances. For instance, the Swordfish Long Range Tracking Radar was developed by DRDO with the assistance from Israel. The radar is capable of tracking 200 targets and has a range of five hundred kilo metres. This technology acquired from Israel had been transferred to the public and private manufacturers.
  • In August 2020, DRDO identified 108 military systems for production by domestic industries.

Significance of DRDO-Private Partnership

DRDO recently banned 101 military systems and weapons such as light combat helicopters, cruise missiles, transport aircraft. This is to be achieved in a staggered manner by 2024. This was done to promote the domestic defence industry. Now, this partnership will boost the foreign companies (where the import ban was imposed) to set up manufacturing units in India. They can also partner with DRDO.

A target of 25 billion USD turnover has been set in defence manufacturing. In order to achieve such high targets, several hands need to work together. Thus, the private partnership will help in achieving the target.

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