A $3 billion purchase was approved for air defense guns for the Indian Army to replace 1960s-era Swedish weapons.
Domestic companies, including state-owned Bharat Electronics and Ordnance Factory Board, and privately held Tata Power SED, Larsen & Toubro, Punj Lloyd and Bharat Forge, will get the tender, an MoD source said.
The domestic companies will need to team with overseas defense companies to manufacture the new guns, analysts said.
“The Indian industry, it appears at present, does not have any proven capability and experience to make the L-70 gun,” Anil Chait, retired Indian Army lieutenant general, said. “It is a challenge before the Indian industry to enter into a tie-up with the foreign original equipment manufacturer, investing in research and development and creating requisite capacities to procure high-end technologies and mature them through to its production.”
An executive of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the lobbying agency for Indian industry, claimed the domestic companies do have the ability to manufacture the guns, adding that Bharat Forge and Punj Lloyd have been preparing for the gun tender for some time.