SOUTH Australian-based Saab Australia has played a critical role is helping an international partner gain access to lucrative defense contracts in India.
Through its Advance Maritime Systems Centre based at Mawson Lakes to the north of Adelaide, South Australia, Saab has been working with Indian company Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering (PDOEC) to help that company develop the mandatory skills necessary to bid on contracts in India.
Saab Systems Australia's Mawson Lakes office.
In October Saab will embed key technical staff at the Pipavav development facility in Delhi to continue the technology transfer.
For Saab Australia this means an opportunity to supply Pipavav with its technologically advanced 9LV Combat Management System (CMS) core and work with Pipavav to customise it for the Indian Navy.
Indian defense procurement rules require purchase of equipment and subsystems only from “qualified’’ Indian vendors which limits access by foreign companies.
Over the next ten years the Indian Navy is looking to modernise or replace up to 100 fighting ships.
“Saab Australia has also been key in supporting Pipavav in capability demonstrations to the Indian Navy over the past 12 months to assist Pipavav gaining qualified vendor status as a CMS provider,’’ Saab’s general manager International Defense Wayne Agutter said.
“These joint efforts have been successful and recently Pipavav received a letter from the Indian Navy informing them that they were now ‘qualified’,” he said.
“This is a significant development for Saab as it now means that Pipavav are able to formally tender for Combat Management System work with the Indian Navy.
“The first opportunity now opened up is to offer a 9LV based solution for the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) defender that was released earlier this year. In anticipation of qualification, Pipavav has also responded, with Saab Australia support, to a Request for Information from the Indian Navy for CMS upgrades to a further 23 ships across more than five different classes.”
Under Indian defense procurement rules many programs require purchase of equipment and subsystems only from “qualified’’ Indian vendors which limits access to the Indian defense market by foreign companies.
To qualify, Indian vendors must have a minimum amount of indigenous content in the products on offer to demonstrate that they have capability and skills to produce and maintain the products.
Under Saab’s Local Industry Participation (LIP) contract, Saab Australia has spent the past 12 months helping business partner Pipavav obtain knowledge and experience to contribute local content to any 9LV Combat Management System (CMS) sale in India.
The Advanced Maritime Systems Centre will form an integral component of the development program for the combat management systems on these new classes of vessel.
It will be used to train Pipavav software developers, integrate and demonstrate new modules to Indian Navy representatives and allow third party companies the opportunity to cooperatively develop interfaces and demonstrate niche software solutions.