Cooperation Between Indian Companies and Government Urged

20 July 2007 (Last Updated July 20th, 2007 09:27)

The Indian Government is urging private and state-owned defence companies to work together to increase the amount of military equipment being built in the country. Defence minister A.K. Anthony says he is concerned by India's slow pace of weaponry development. "The Indian defe

The Indian Government is urging private and state-owned defence companies to work together to increase the amount of military equipment being built in the country.

Defence minister A.K. Anthony says he is concerned by India's slow pace of weaponry development.

"The Indian defence industry must, as part of their evolution and national development, focus on research, development and production of armaments and weapon systems keeping in view the issues of quality, safety, reliability and maintainability factors," he says.

India is the world's third-largest importer of defence equipment, spending $10bn on imports in the last year.

India imports nearly 70% of its high-tech arms from overseas as such programmes under taken by the government either take decades to develop or are never completed.

"A strong and healthy partnership between public and private-sector will be critical in maximising our defence capability and in creating a powerful domestic industrial base for the future,"
Anthony says.