India grants 23 licensing deals to defense startups

India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has brought together various domestic startups for an ‘Industry Meet’ during the Maharashtra Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Defense Expo on 25 February 2024.

DRDO spoke about existing government initiatives and policies being implemented to benefit emerging defense organizations in India as well as addressing industry concerns.

Specifically, during the meeting, DRDO awarded 23 Licensing Transfer of Technology (LATOT) Agreements to 22 companies. The technologies varied across a range of defense sectors, including electronics, laser technology, armaments, life and materials science, combat vehicles, naval systems and aeronautics.

These include the manufacture of carbon/carbon aircraft brakes for the Tejas light combat aircraft. 100 meter floating pedestrian bridge. 40mm High Explosive Anti-Personnel (HEAP) grenade for UBGL. Complete 70 ton Tank Transporter trailer for the main battle tank, Arjun Mark 1A. Expendable Mobile Shelter Solar Heated Shelter? NMR-Supercondenser, LRF Handheld Thermal Imaging Equipment (WHHTI); and high pressure water mist fire suppression system (HP WMFSS).

Products based on these DRDO technologies will further enhance the defense manufacturing sector and defense self-reliance.

Licensing deals cement a ‘self-reliant India’

Addressing industry partners, Dr Kamat noted DRDO’s commitment to provide the means to develop India’s defense industries to realize ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-Reliance India) as envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

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Kamat clarified that the recent success of DRDO products has not only made the country more self-reliant in military technology, but has also offered immense opportunities to industries in the defense manufacturing sector.

Many countries and their companies have set their sights on India’s defense industry over the past year. The US established the INDUS-X Initiative in which both nations bridge their capabilities in a spirit of unprecedented technology and industrial exchange as well as intellectual cooperation.

The Indian Ministry of Defense has also sought to increase the percentage of indigenously produced systems in its Armed Forces. Last week, the Indian Air Force procured another indigenous supplier for the ‘Digital Fly by the Wire Control Computer’ for the next iteration of Tejas Light combat aircraft, the Mark 1A variant.

In the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Kamat emphasized that “the recent success of DRDO products has not only made the country more self-reliant in defense technology, but has also provided immense opportunities to industries in the defense manufacturing sector.”

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