NEW DELHI — Saab and India's Eyeing the upcoming $1.5 billion Indian Army tender for purchase of Very Short Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) man portable Air Defense (AD) systems SAAB of Sweden has tied up with domestic private Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd. (KSSL) have proposed establishing  production facilities to build an Indian air defense system. for the AD systems.

The planned joint venture is in anticipation that the Defence Ministry may cancel the original 2010 global tender for a very short range air defense (VSHORAD) system and the Indian Army will is likely to issue a fresh tender only to domestic defense companies. as the Defence Ministry of Defense (MoD) is considering canceling the original 2010 VSHORAD global tender. and issue a fresh tender only to domestic companies.

The overseas defense majors which were front runners for the 2010 global tender including MBDA of France , Rosoboronexport of Russia and Saab of Sweden will strike partnerships with domestic defense companies to compete for the upcoming tender, said a MoD source .

An Executive of SAAB said, "The joint venture, which will be set up by Saab and KSSL, will handle the main part of production and delivery of these air defense systems to the Indian customer. The production in India will comprise of subsystems and systems for short-range surface-to-air missiles (SRSAM) and VSHORAD with the aim to transfer production as well as development knowledge to India," said a Saab executive.

However, the joint venture has not yet been to be established, the company executive said.

"Book value, equity split and precise contribution by both partners would be detailed only when the JV is established. As of now, this is an announcement of commencement of preparations for a JV."

An executive of KSSL said, "KSSL will set up the facilities to produce subsystems for VSHORAD" and short-range surface-to-air defense systems, said a KSSL executive. SRSAM AD systems."

Rahul Gangal, a partner in a New Delhi-based consulting firm Roland Berger, said the intent to extablish a joint venture, "t (the intent to set up JV) is a strong positive step forward and will substantially help KSSL and Bharat Forge [a subsidiary of the Kalyani Group] to have a larger play in the adjacencies to the artillery and munitions segment. It will also help position KSSL as a preferred private sector partner in these specialized segments."

The 2010 tender for VSHORAD systems was issued to Saab, of Sweden, Rafael, of Israel, MBDA, and Thales, of France, Raytheon, of United States, Rosoboronexport of Russia and LIG Nex 1. of South Korea.

Rafael, Thales and LIG Nex 1 did not qualify in the technical evaluation and Raytheon did not participate in the bids. After the technical evaluation in 2012, MBDA, Rosoboronexport and Saab were selected for trials which have been completed. The Russians fielded the Igla-S, Saab offered the RBS 70 NG and MBDA offered the Mistral system. for trials .ends

Email: vraghuvanshi@defensenews.com

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