Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) has signed an agreement with American aerospace giant Lockheed Martin to join hands to produce the F-16 Block 70 in India.

The F-16 Block 70 is ideally suited to meet the Indian Air Force’s single-engine fighter needs and the US-Indian industry partnership directly supports India’s initiative to develop private aerospace and defence manufacturing capacity in India under the Make in India initiative, the companies said during the Paris Air Show recently.

The Strategic Partnership Policy (SPP) could throw open deals worth over $20bn to six selected private sector companies in India.

India’s defence forces will get their first fighter jets, submarines, helicopters and armoured vehicles made in India by the private sector within a few years. And it is entirely probable that friendly foreign countries could also be using some of these Made in India weapon systems.

The Indian defence-aerospace industry is taking baby steps in the world of aircraft, missile and radar development. There will be massive opportunities over the next decade for Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 firms in the West to form lucrative long-term JVs with Indian partners.

India is negotiating the sale indigenously designed Akash surface to air missiles to Vietnam. Almost simultaneously, the Government of India has also cleared a Rs 17,000-crore (($2.6 billion) agreement o jointly develop a medium range surface to air missile for the army in order to beef up its defence preparedness.

It is dubbed Asia’s largest air show and the 2017 edition of Aero India in Bengaluru recently proved the ideal showcase for the Indian government’s plans to transform India into a global manufacturing hub.

The highlight of this year’s Aero India was a dual role combat-capable Advanced Hawk jet trainer, developed jointly by the UK’s BAE Systems and India’s public-sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) being formally unveiled.

The event, launched by Modi in 2003 to showcase his state, has emerged as India’s largest investment promotion meet.

Many Indian intellectuals who see things only through the prism of their own ideology call Gujarat the laboratory of a divisive communal agenda, where ideas, policies and processes were honed and perfected and then rolled out across India. This is the view they hold and this is what they disseminate to the world at large.

A policy expert analyses if India’s current rate of growth is any cause for worry or a sign of sustainable recovery.

India increasingly attracts positive attention from foreign sources. This is evident when one meets with groups of foreign investors who see India as an attractive investment opportunity. This renewed investor interest in itself is not surprising given the rather uncertain and downbeat conditions in a large number of advanced and emerging economies.

India-Russia ties have a deep-rooted history but the political realities of the 21st century may require a fresh approach to old ties.

India’s relationship with Russia is a complex one, saddled with history and more recently geography. Russia has been an old and once-trusted supplier of defence equipment and weapons systems and has recently signed a slew of deals for co-production of military helicopters and Indian purchase of missiles and frigates. Separately, the Russian energy giant Rosneft led a consortium that bought Essar Oil, an Indian petroleum and refining conglomerate.

From a backward state not so long ago, the so-called heartland of India has made some firm strides to be counted among the frontrunner states in India.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan can justifiably feel proud of the numbers. His state, which was part of the pejoratively named BIMARU provinces till not so long ago, has decisively shed that tag and now competes with the frontrunners in rolling out the red carpet for investors and attracting investment dollars.



“People asked: Where is Madhya Pradesh? No one had heard of Madhya Pradesh, not to mention its investment credentials. Barely 300 people participated in 2007. We have turned it around since then. This year, we had to stop registration for GIS when we had received 8,000 confirmations,” Chouhan said at this year’s Global Investors’ Summit (GIS), which his government organises to attract investments from India and abroad.