Seoul: India in the coming years will have great potential in the global arms market, as its manufacturers can offer weapons “in a very cost effective and in a shorter time frame”, says Avinash Chander, scientific adviser to the defence minister.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has displayed a wide range of indigenous weapons at the Seoul Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) to showcase its export potential to global aerospace giants and senior military officials of foreign nations.
Chander, who heads the DRDO, in an interview with South Korean Yonhap news agency said it was the first time that his agency displayed the surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles, Akash and Pragati, outside India. And this decision was made as part of its bid to attract potential overseas buyers.
Chander said India was making the international journey from South Korea because the country was a “natural partner”.
“South Korea, being a strategic partner of India and a technologically strong country, is a natural partner for India. This has led to India’s beginning of the global journey from Korea.”
“This will also enable the Indian defence industry in the development process to access a wider market base.”
However, many challenges lie ahead, Chander said, for one of the world’s fastest growing economies with a relatively weak defence industry infrastructure.
“This is just a beginning, and in my view, the right step and in the right direction,” said Chander. “But still we need to go a long way.” Chander said he hoped to see more industrial cooperation with South Korean companies, which have successful businesses in India with cell phones and cars, and have expanded their footprint in the defence sector.