BAE in homeland security deal in India

Published 31 January 2006

Homeland security is a major preoccupation in India, and BAE signs large contract to update that country’s border and maritime surveillance

Enhancing homeland security — and defense against Islamic terrorism — are issues non-Wetsren countries face, too. This is why BAE Systems found a ready market in India for its hardware aiming to upgrade surveillance of India’s land borders and maritime zone. BAE already has a $1.43 billion deal, signed in 2004, to supply sixty-six advanced jet trainers to India, and is now negotiating to supply India’s coastguard with advanced radar systems. BAE announced the border surveillance deal during a four-day gathering of armament manufacturers from around the world who came to India to exhibit their wares. The meeting saw 420 companies from 38 countries including France, Germany, Israel, and the United States.

BAE’s bid on three separate programs to be incorporated into surveillance systems designed and developed by India’s defense sector. BAE’s Richard Smith said that “We are at the bidding stage for artillery, radar, and command and control systems.” The company would not quote the value of the three offers, but military experts said it could run into hundreds of millions of dollars if New Delhi planned comprehensive coverage of its volatile borders with Pakistan and China. The British firm was in consultation with state-owned companies to set up homeland security systems in India, which is battling cross-border infiltration. “India is plagued with illegal border crossing and security is critical,” said BAE’s Bryan Jeffers.

India previously limited private equity in state-controlled defense industries to 26 percent. In the late 1990s, however, this began to change, as evidenced by a 50-50 partnership between India and its largest military supplier Russia for the successful coproduction of the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos. Indian defense minister Pranab Mukherjee announced that 100 percent participation in Indian defense projects would now be possible.

-read more in this AFX report