In a major boost to the country's defence sector, India has reportedly overtaken Russia and Poland to win a $40 million defence deal to supply four indigenously-built weapon locating radars to Armenia in Europe. The deal is being seen as a major achievement for 'Make in India' programme in the defence sector.
"The deal is for supplying four SWATHI weapon locating radars developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to Armenia in Europe," news agency ANI quoted government sources as saying.
According to the sources, Armenians had conducted trials of systems offered by Russia and Poland that were also good but they gave a final nod to the Indian system, which was developed by DRDO. India has already started the supply of the equipment to Armenia, they said.
As per the agreement, India will supply four SWATHI weapon locating radars, which provide fast, automatic and accurate location of enemy weapons like mortars, shells and rockets in its 50-km range.
SWATHI, developed by DRDO's Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), can simultaneously handle multiples projectiles fired from different weapons at different locations. The system is capable of adjusting the fire of our own artillery weapon also. The weapon includes 81mm or higher calibre mortars, 105mm or higher calibre shells and 120mm or higher calibre free flying rockets.
Officials said this deal will open a new market for the sale of India's indigenous systems, which are much cheaper than its European and other rivals, ANI reported. The government is also targeting South-East Asia, Latin America and Middle-East countries to secure defence orders.
With the growing trend of shipments in recent years, the government has set a defence export target of Rs 35,000 crore by 2024-25. The defence exports rose from Rs 1,500 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 4,500 crore 2017-18 to Rs 10,700 crore in 2018-19. For the current fiscal, the Centre has set a target of Rs 20,000 crore.
By Chitranjan Kumar