India to start exporting missiles to South East Asian, Gulf countries

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India will export its first batch of missiles this year to the South East Asian and the Gulf countries after receiving "increasing interests" from them, a top defence official said here on Wednesday.

Speaking at the IMDEX Asia 2019 exhibition, Commodore S K Iyer, Chief General Manager for HR at BrahMos Aerospace, said the first missile export contract awaits a government-to-government approval.

"A number of South East Asian countries are ready to buy our missiles," he said.

"It will be our first export and we have received increasing interests in the missiles form the Gulf countries," Iyer said at the the three-day international maritime conference and exhibition which began here on Tuesday.

Indian defence sector sees good opportunities for exports to the South East Asian and the Gulf countries where slower economic growths have put budgetary pressure on acquiring viable, cost-effective and reliable solutions.

India-Russia joint venture BrahMos and defence company L&T Defence of Larsen & Toubro Ltd are showcasing a wide range of defence equipment at the IMDEX for the South East Asian markets.

They said that some of these small economies are looking for renewals of older assets through platform upgrades with latest technologies.

Budgetary constraints on defence procurement means life-span extension of older assets, said Martyn Allen, regional director for Asia at QinetiQ, a UK-based defence company with partners in India and a recently-opened regional office in Kuala Lumpur.

Export opportunities through collaboration with Indian defence industry were underlined by Captain Nick Macdonald-Robinson, a senior naval advisor at the Defence and Security Organisation of the UK Department of International Trade.

British companies are already establishing relationships with Indian shipyards which have a vast number of architects and huge amount of experience, Robinson said.

He pointed out that the large-scale expertise in Indian yards were not only involved in building indigenous designs, but also taking products from India-Russia joint venture into the export markets.

More than 236 defence companies are participating in the IMDEX 2019 exhibition.

Over 10,500 delegates and trade visitors are also attending the event where 23 warships from 30 countries are on display after conducting regional maritime exercises.

Over 400 delegates from the naval defence sector are attending the International Maritime Security Conference on "Safe and Secure Seas: Promoting Mutual Securities in our Maritime Commons".

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