JED - February 2009 - 26

By John Knowles Throughout its long history, India has seen many ideas, cultures and conquerors flow across its borders. As a nation, it has always found a way to adapt to these changes and absorb them until eventually they became part of India itself. Today, India once again is facing an influx of ideas and money. Its economy is growing rapidly, and foreign companies are keen to get a foothold in India’s technology markets. The country’s defense technology sector is no different. In fact, India has gradually evolved its defense industrial policy over the past decade with an eye toward drawing foreign companies into its market. This policy is working. More than 200 foreign companies are expected to exhibit at Aero India this month. Among these are the world’s leading electronic warfare (EW) manufacturers from Israel, Europe and the United States. These companies are not merely “testing the waters.” Most of them have already established joint ventures and partnerships with several Indian defense companies and government laboratories. For India’s EW community, the coming decade promises to be exciting, as decades of internal EW development and progress are combined with new ideas and technologies from around the world. For foreign EW companies, the question is not so much about opportunities. Rather, it is about how much technology and know-how they can afford to transfer to India, whose companies are undoubtedly poised to become major players (and competitors) in the global EW market. search and production capability with the stated goal of making the nation self-sufficient in defense. In realizing this policy, India created more than 50 laboratories under the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). These labs, which collectively employ about 30,000 personnel, cover all aspects of the military’s needs, from clothing and ammunition to major weapons systems development. On the production end, the government’s 40 “Ordnance Factories” and eight Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) are tasked with manufacturing the equipment developed by DRDO’s labs. Among these DPSUs, Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) has grown to become the country’s leading EW systems manufacturer, supplying most of the EW systems bought by India’s armed forces. At the same time that India was becoming more self-reliant in defense production, it did not entirely shun defense imports. For many decades, it turned to the Soviet Union (and later Russia) to supply aircraft, ships and ground vehicles, some of which were built under license by government-owned defense manufacturers like Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL). Occasionally, India has bought Western weapons systems, such as the Jaguar IT/IM (locally known as Shamsher) and Mirage 2000 fighters from France, both of which were procured in the 1980s. Sometimes, India has bought Western avionics and EW systems and integrated them onto Soviet/Russian-sourced platforms. However, the Indian government is frequently reminded that the EW capabilities it needs sometimes may not be available on the international market, may not be releasable to India or may not be affordable. As a result, India has always continued to support its domestic defense production policy, and its governmentowned companies still manufacture the bulk of the Indian Armed Forces’ EW equipment. A NEW ERA Although India’s self-reliance policy has met the government’s goals and supplied most of the military’s needs, the country’s armed forces are increasingly aware that governmentowned companies have struggled to develop state-of-the-art technology in some specialized defense areas, such as EW. India’s main rival, Pakistan, is buying advanced US and European weapon systems, such as Block 50/52 F-16 aircraft and French Agosta-90B submarines. China also is buying and manufacturing advanced Russian-designed weapons systems, such as S-300PMU1/PMU2 air defense systems. In order to keep pace with these weapons systems, India has taken incremental steps to supplement its domestic defense technology base. In 1997, the government identified its two leading DPSUs, HAL and BEL, and gave them Navratna status. This allowed them to act more like private companies, establishing partnerships with defense companies outside India and selling defense products and services to foreign governments. While this strategy helped deliver some advanced technology into the hands of India’s Armed Forces, it still left DRDO and manufacturing giants like HAL and BEL in a noncompetitive market. In 2001, the Indian Government took another firm step toward privatization when it announced that it would allow private companies in key technology sectors to develop and manufacture equipment for the Indian Armed Forces. These com- 26 The Journal of Electronic Defense | February 2009 SELF-RELIANCE Over many decades, India has developed a well-organized defense re-

JED - February 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - February 2009

JED - February 2009
Contents
The View From Here
Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Charting the Course of Indian EW
What's Next in Data Recorders?
Technology Survey: RWR/ESM Systems
EW 101
2009 AOC Industry and Institute/University Member Guide
JED Sales Offices
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - February 2009 - JED - February 2009
JED - February 2009 - Cover2
JED - February 2009 - 3
JED - February 2009 - Contents
JED - February 2009 - 5
JED - February 2009 - The View From Here
JED - February 2009 - 7
JED - February 2009 - Calendar
JED - February 2009 - 9
JED - February 2009 - 10
JED - February 2009 - 11
JED - February 2009 - From the President
JED - February 2009 - 13
JED - February 2009 - 14
JED - February 2009 - The Monitor
JED - February 2009 - 16
JED - February 2009 - 17
JED - February 2009 - 18
JED - February 2009 - 19
JED - February 2009 - 20
JED - February 2009 - 21
JED - February 2009 - Washington Report
JED - February 2009 - 23
JED - February 2009 - World Report
JED - February 2009 - 25
JED - February 2009 - Charting the Course of Indian EW
JED - February 2009 - 27
JED - February 2009 - 28
JED - February 2009 - 29
JED - February 2009 - 30
JED - February 2009 - 31
JED - February 2009 - 32
JED - February 2009 - What's Next in Data Recorders?
JED - February 2009 - 34
JED - February 2009 - 35
JED - February 2009 - 36
JED - February 2009 - 37
JED - February 2009 - 38
JED - February 2009 - Technology Survey: RWR/ESM Systems
JED - February 2009 - 40
JED - February 2009 - 41
JED - February 2009 - 42
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JED - February 2009 - 49
JED - February 2009 - EW 101
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JED - February 2009 - 52
JED - February 2009 - 2009 AOC Industry and Institute/University Member Guide
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JED - February 2009 - Index of Advertisers
JED - February 2009 - JED Quick Look
JED - February 2009 - Cover3
JED - February 2009 - Cover4
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