In March 2016, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a revised Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) which included a new category designed to give a greater thrust to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ defence sector initiative. The new category, known as IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured), takes priority over the existing Buy (Indian) category which, in turn takes precedence over the other categories, namely, in order, ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’, ‘Buy and Make’ and ‘Buy (Global)’. As well as speeding up the procurement process, the government’s intent is clear - to promote the in-house design capacity of Indian tech companies and to encourage higher localisation. These two aspects are deemed fundamental in deepening the role of the domestic industry, especially the private sector, in defence production.
The new DPP document was the catalyst that crystallised the ongoing discussions that had been taking place between L&T and MBDA and saw the final steps taken towards establishing the L&T MBDA Missile Systems Limited joint venture company. L&T is one of India's leading private sector companies in the defence sector, with the ability to produce the high technology guided weapons and guided weapons systems that the Indian armed forces clearly need. MBDA for its part, has always been clear that its strategy for India is to be considered, not simply as a seller of defence equipment, but as a close business partner, a partner to the Indian defence industry sector and to the end user.
L&T MBDA Missile Systems Limited is optimally positioned to offer India the very best technology through the IDDM, ‘Buy (Indian)’ or the ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ channels. This offers India the flexibility of choice regarding the capability required and the desired lead times for delivery. In all cases it provides India with the optimised means of acquiring and mastering the very latest and most advanced guided weapon systems technology currently available anywhere in the world. The JV is already actively responding to a number of requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.