- The government is planning to do away with the process of awarding contract to lowest bidder while acquiring high-tech defence assets and instead entering into “strategic partnership” with Indian private firms in six critical sectors including missiles.
- The Defence Ministry has set up a high powered committee headed by former DRDO chief V K Aatre to recommend guidelines for selecting Indian private firms for strategic partnership in the critical areas which include submarines, aircraft and missiles .
- If an X group has been taken in as a strategic partner in one segment, it will not be considered for another. It can participate in partnership for other products.
- Once the domestic strategic partner is selected, talks with foreign technology provider or FDI partner will be undertaken to carry out the project.
- The Aatre committee, which has experts from banking, chartered accountancy among others, have been asked to submit a report within three weeks.
- The six critical segments identified are – Aircrafts and their major systems, warships of stated displacements, submarines and their major systems, armoured fighting vehicles and their major systems, complex weapons that rely on guidance system, C4ISTR (Command and Control System) and critical materials (special alloys and composites).