By Megha BAHREE
India has drawn up a shopping list for tens of billions of dollars of foreign fighter jets, armoured vehicles, submarines and helicopters but it will only sign the cheques if they are made in India.
The world's largest defence importer has announced a new policy inviting foreign defence manufacturers to set up shop as minority partners in India. It initiated the bidding process for submarines in July.
Such deals would boost job creation and bring key defence technologies into India.
Foreign companies say the opportunity is too good to miss.
Europe's Airbus Group, angling to sell its Panther helicopters, has said that if it wins a contract worth several billion dollars and expected to span at least a decade, it would make India its global hub for the multi-purpose choppers.
The company currently builds them at Marignane in France.
Lockheed Martin says if its F-16 fighter jets are selected -- it will likely compete with Saab for that order of close to $15 billion -- it will "support the advancement of Indian manufacturing expertise."
Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and France's Naval Group are eager to compete for a contract of up to $10 billion to build submarines in the South Asian country.
Luring foreign defence companies to build in India would be a major and much-needed boost to the economy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with less than two years to national elections, is under intense pressure to create more jobs for the hundreds of thousands of people joining the workforce every month.
Growth in the first three months of 2017 slowed to 6.1 percent. Experts expect further disruption as businesses adjust to a new nationwide goods and services tax launched in July.
Read the full story at SpaceDaily