‘We Believe That We Have a Lot to Offer When We See The Level of Investment and Priorities of Indian MoD’
-Executive vice president, international affairs, Nexter Systems, Mike Duckworth   

Executive vice president, international affairs, Nexter Systems, Mike Duckworth 
What is Nexter Systems’ vision for the Indian market in the coming years?

Nexter is a primary supplier to the French forces, notably for land systems. We cover a wide range of potential technologies ranging from artillery, armoured vehicles, weapon systems and ammunition. As a result, we believe that we have a lot to offer when we see the level of investment and priorities of the Indian ministry of defence (MoD). We feel that we can play a role in the defence opportunities that have great interest to us. Our approach is modest and respectful and I know that the company has worked very much with a perspective of Transfer of Technology (ToT). We believe that this is a model we can work with. Our business approach has changed significantly, where we are a thin layer system integrator and rely greatly on the competence and professionalism of the supply chain. We can transfer this model to India very easily.

What will be the specific areas of focus for Nexter in India?

The recent business successes we have had in India are modest but successes nonetheless. With regards the turret programme for Dhruv helicopter, for which we made the first deliveries in 2011, we were delighted to work with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). In the short term, we have an interest and stake in this sort of traditional programmes. In the medium term, we see opportunity in the artillery programme. If there is one thing Nexter is renowned for, it is competence in artillery in terms of the weapons and ammunition. We see the emphasis and priority that has been placed on the modernisation of the artillery capability in India and hence there is an opportunity. This was also why we announced our relationship with L&T pertaining to the Towed Gun Systems (TGS), Mounted Gun System (MGS) and Mk-46 130mm gun upgrade. In the long term, we look at some of the other aspects of our business and it is no accident that we brought along our 40mm Cased Telescoped Armament System ‘40 CTAS’ which we call the T-40. We are in the process of developing it for the French Army for the future reconnaissance programmes and it has also been selected by the UK MoD for their two principal armoured combat vehicle programmes. Looking at the Indian Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) programme, we feel that we can make a contribution there.

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