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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India looking for Swedish weapons systems for self propelled guns

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Jan 7, IRNA -- India`s Defense Secretary Ajay Prasad Friday
evening said that there was requirement for self-propelled and towed 
guns for the Indian Army and concluded that SWS Sweden are one of the 
parties whose products are under consideration. 
According to a press release of Confederation of Indian 
Industries, a copy of which was received by IRNA on Saturday, Prasad 
while delivering the valedictory session at the 2nd India Defence 
Industry Summit, held on the occasion of the 3rd defense exposition 
2004, said Sweden is trying to make a comeback after the government 
lifted the ban on Bofors after the impressive performance of the 
Howitzers. The company`s new owner - the Swedish Weapon Systems 
(SWS) - is offering upgraded version of the gun as well as keenness 
to revive the 1986 agreement to manufacture the self-propelled and 
mounted Howitzers. 
In the seminar organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry 
(CII) and India`s Ministry of Defence at Pragati Maidan said, the 
Government was constituting a certain product group where in there is 
a felt need among services for a product. 
The upgraded version of the guns, FH77 BL52 and FH77 BD wheeled 
self-propelled guns while retaining the advantages of the combat- 
proven earlier Indian Army`s FH77 B had a longer range of 40 km with 
the standard base bleed ammunition and a longer range of 40 km, the 
company`s Chairman Haken Kangert told reporters here on Friday. 
On the question of outsourcing, Prasad said that the Government 
was contemplating outsourcing of vehicle maintenance as a starting 
point and assured that the Government would slowly extend the horizon 
of outsourcing. 
According to Prasad, the group can make recommendations to PSUs 
and ordnance factories can also play the role of a facilitator. He 
said that even foreign direct investment could be involved. 
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