Sweden, India agree to strengthen cooperation on defence sector

India and Sweden will soon sign an agreement on sharing of classified information required for defence manufacturing and co-production in India, as the two sides look forward to open a new chapter in their defence partnership.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven, in Stockholm on April 17, 2018 (Source deccanherald.com)

Prime Minister Löfven of Sweden welcomed India’s recent accession to the international export control regimes, including to Australia Group (AG), Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC), and expressed support for India’s membership of the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG).

Swedish defence major SAAB has shown interest in manufacturing Gripen aircraft in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. India and Sweden have agreed to strengthen their defence and security cooperation, including in areas of defence production and cyber security.

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Gripen E Fighter Jet (Source Saab Group)

SAAB has partnered with the Adani Group for defence manufacturing, with the joint venture expected to bid for supplying fighter jets to the Indian Air Force. According to the request for information (RFI) floated by the defence ministry earlier this month, the IAF is looking to procure 82 single-seat fighter jets and 27-28 twin-seaters.

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Lockheed Martin, Saab and Dassault Aviation are among the manufacturers expected to compete for India’s fighter order. The planes must be largely built locally as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s make-in-India drive to build a domestic industrial base.

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