City-based Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) under the Ministry of Defence and Thales have signed a 'Teaming Agreement' to work in partnership on the 'STARStreak Air Defence system 'with the support of both the Governments of India and the United Kingdom. The system is to be developed under the ‘Make in India’ programmes.
The 'STARStreak Missile System' is in service in the British Army and has been procured by defence forces worldwide. It is touted to be the fastest missile in its category and the missile system is unique due to its three laser-guided darts, which cannot be jammed by any known countermeasure. The system also has the capability to defeat any air target – even armoured helicopters – as the last line of defence, said an official spokesman.
The agreement between BDL and Thales also presents an opportunity for industrial cooperation between both countries to facilitate closer collaboration and co-development between industries on either side. "This partnership between Thales and BDL Transfer of Technology for 'STARStreak' will create a new business opportunity for us and our supply chain partners in the country. BDL will be able to enhance its footprints in the export market in addition to the domestic market with the new business opportunity,” said chairman & managing director Commodore Siddharth Mishra (retd) on Friday.
The Government's ‘Make in India’ programme, ‘ease of doing business’ and recent ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives have created a congenial ecosystem for foreign original equipment manufacturers to tie up with Indian companies like BDL to establish the production facility here, he said. Thales UK CEO Alex Cresswell said the partnership pact between both firms is a 'significant milestone' for and he is looking forward developing a close working relationship.
The new air defence system to be manufactured by the BDL will be exported to various countries including the UK. It will also benefit the Thales business in Belfast in Northern Ireland for the strong supply chain of UK's small and medium enterprises and for its teams in India, he said.