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Need to develop Intellectual Property locally or we are doomed, says IAF Vice Chief

Gripen fighter aircraft. (File Photo)

Gripen fighter aircraft. (File Photo)   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

As India opens up its defence manufacturing in a big way under the proposed Strategic Partnership (SP) model, the Vice Chief of Air Force Air Marshal S.B. Deo on Thursday stressed on the need to develop Intellectual Property (IP) within the country.

“We manufacture fighters, helicopters and we need to import a UAV?... If we don’t generate IP here, we are doomed to build-to-print... The quicker we dismantle this build-to-print, the quicker we develop IP here, the better we are,” he said while speaking at a seminar on Energising Indian Aerospace Industry organised by the Centre for Air Power Studies and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The Air Marshal further added that we are into committees, sub-committees and concepts but we don’t get our hands on it. “We are afraid of failure. This is what is holding us back,” he stated.

He gave the example of Brazil which has teamed up with SAAB of Sweden and managed to develop significant technologies locally.

Air Marshal Deo said that the SP model will give results in the long term “may be in the next decade or so.” Under the SP model, private sector will partner with global firms to build military hardware in India.

His comments assume significance as the Indian Air Force is about to issue a Request for Information (RFI) to the two single-engine fighter manufacturers available in the global market — Lockheed Martin for its F-16 and SAAB for its Gripen — under the SP model estimated at over ₹60,000 crore.

While Tata group has tied up with Lockheed Martin for possible manufacture of F-16s in India, SAAB last week announced a tie up with the Adani group.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 12:32:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/need-to-develop-intellectual-property-locally-or-we-are-doomed-says-iaf-vice-chief/article19635467.ece

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