The Make In India program is now making waves abroad.
India has bagged a deal worth $40 million (Rs. 300 crore) to supply four Swathi indigenously-built weapon locating radars to Armenia by beating Russian and Polish firms. “The deal is for supplying four Swathi weapon locating radars developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to Armenia in Europe,” government sources told ANI. The supply of the equipment to Armenia has already started and this is being considered as a big achievement for ‘Make in India’ programme in the defence sector, they said.
India wasn’t the only country that had been trying to sell its weapons systems to Armenia — Russian and Polish firms were also in the fray. Sources said Armenians had conducted trials of systems offered by Russia and Poland that were also good but they decided to go for the reliable Indian system.
The Swathi Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) is a mobile artillery-locating phased array radar developed by India. The radar is designed to detect and track incoming artillery and rocket fire to determine the point of origin for counter-battery fire. It is jointly developed by Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). The sub-systems have been fabricated by BEL based on the DRDO designs and delivered to LRDE for integration.
The Indian Army is also using the same radars for its operations along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir where they trace the source of attack by Pakistani positions. The system was given for trials to Army in 2018.
Officials said the export order will help India open a new market for the sale of its indigenous systems, which are cheaper than their European and other rivals. The Defence Ministry is also now looking at other orders from South-East Asia, Latin America and Middle-East countries for boosting defence exports for which a target of Rs 35,000 crore has been set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.