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INTERVIEW
 
‘Our Ability to Deliver Affordable, Mission-Critical Networked Solutions That Can Withstand the Harshest Real-World Conditions Puts us at an Advantage’
-Vice president, international relations, Asia Pacific, ITT Exelis, Ron Smith    


Vice president, international relations, Asia Pacific, ITT Exelis, Ron Smith 
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How do you assess the Indian defence market? What opportunities and challenges do you see here?

We are committed to supporting the military and defence requirements needed by our Indian customers and see India as an attractive market with a large standing military and a growing economy. As a primary provider of affordable, mission-critical solutions that are fully integrated and networked, we see a good opportunity here. A changing style of warfare and more sophisticated adversaries create a need for multiple, standalone technologies that can be combined into information-based networks, particularly in the areas of communications and night vision.

While technology transfer is generally cited as a key challenge, the US state department works hard to assist American companies in solving these types of issues. Exelis understands and embraces India’s defence procurement doctrine and has a thorough understanding of the issues involved.

What kind of a portfolio do you have for India, across the three Services?
We have a very diverse portfolio covering all branches of the services- from avionics to ground electronic warfare equipment to tactical communications. Exelis has a payload on every GPS and weather satellite in the US and many optical capabilities that can be seen on applications like Google Earth. We offer undersea warfare capability in sonar, Electronic Self Protection and even mine detection, sweeping and disability techniques and equipment. We provide sensors which operate below the surface, on land and in space.

On the NVGs, what kind of technology will you be able to offer to the Indian military? In what way is it different from the latest generation in service?

Exelis Generation 3 Night Vision devices are available for export to India with an approved export licence from the US state department. Our Generation 3 technology is the most advanced, represents the best solution for visual identification during combat operations and offers significant performance and lifecycle improvements over Generation 2 technology.

Our next generation line of night vision available to the Indian military lays the foundation for a digital future. The i-Aware tactical couples image intensified capability with image/video import and export options. This goggle has the ability to receive colour imagery into the goggle allowing the operator to view actionable information, aiding the soldier’s mission effectiveness with access to GPS, mapping and target information. The goggle also incorporates video capture capabilities disseminating live video from the soldier’s viewpoint, providing a key tactical advantage that will allow real time assessment of the operator’s situation to improve command execution.
 
There is a huge requirement of tactical radios both in the military and the paramilitary forces. Are you in talks with ministry of home affairs regarding this? Has the Indian user seen your products?

Exelis is partnering with the ministry of defence (MoD), ministry of home affairs (MHA), and indigenous corporations to provide communication systems for the protection of citizens of India. Our main objective is to assist our valued partners with products and technologies that can provide reliable communications to soldiers and safety personnel. Our products have been demonstrated and tested by our partners within the last 12 months. These tests have demonstrated that our products provide reliable voice and the highest data throughputs available in even the most difficult environments such as tunnels and urban areas. Exelis has performed tests in various scenarios at the request of MHA organisations. We have full confidence our product has exceeded expectations in most difficult operating conditions.
 
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