Saab Grintek Defence (SGD) and Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division (Tata Power SED) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to South Africa to promote defence trade manufacturing in India and create export opportunities for South Africa.
The MoU is in line with India’s Make in India programme promoting domestic manufacturing and was signed during Mod’s visit to South Africa on 8 July. It follows an agreement earlier this year when Saab and Tata Power SED announced they had started manufacturing Land Electronic Defence System (LEDS) 50 self-protection systems for the Indian market and for export. The system was previously made in South Africa only. Tata Power SED will eventually manufacture a large part of the system in India and also do final assembly. Tata will also be responsible for marketing the system in India.
In April Anne Lewis-Olsson, Vice President Communication Africa at Saab Grintek Defence, told defenceWeb that production of LEDS 50 at Saab Grintek Defence would continue as before. She stated that the Indian deal is part of Saab’s technology transfer package to India and will be very good for Saab Grintek Defence.
“We are excited about the signing of this MoU as it is our strategy to take South Africa’s indigenous technology and products beyond local markets with well-established expert partners that add value to our supply chain and open new markets. The transfer of technology for production of initial orders for Saab’s global customers has already commenced at Tata Power SED’s facility in Bangalore,” said Trevor Raman, President and CEO at Saab Grintek Defence. “This collaboration proactively positions SGD solutions for the future Indian land-based platforms self-protection market.”
“Tata Power SED is excited to be a part of this synergetic collaboration. Given the long-term potential for self-protection systems for combat vehicles, both in India and abroad, we see this collaboration for joint development and manufacturing with Saab Grintek Defence as an important milestone in boosting India’s capabilities in building defence systems and is perfectly aligned with the actual essence of ‘Make In India’ initiatives being implemented by the Indian government,” said Rahul Chaudhry, CEO of Tata Power SED.
Almost 75% of SGD’s total turnover comes from the exporting of products.
Modi said in a press statement after his visit with President Jacob Zuma that beyond economic ties, and business links, trade and investment, the two countries can also partner in the field of defence and security, both at the level of industry and for strategic and security needs.
“In India, this is one of the sectors witnessing a complete transformation. It offers exciting opportunities in defence trade. Our companies can also pool their capacities to jointly develop or manufacture defence equipment and platforms. And, not just to meet our defence needs, but also to respond to regional and global demand,” Modi said.