February 13, 2017 / 9:45 AM / 5 months ago

India's L&T, Europe's MBDA to form Indian missile venture

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European Defense Group MBDA's company logo is pictured in Schrobenhausen near Ingolstadt, Germany, June 25, 2015.Michaela Rehle

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) (LART.NS) and European missile maker MBDA on Monday said they have agreed to form a joint venture to build and supply missile systems for the India army.

The venture will be established in the first half of 2017 and will bid for new contracts under rules for indigenous defence firms, the pair said in a joint statement, calling the venture a milestone in their long-term relationship.

"L&T and MBDA have collaborated and partnered on co-development and production of major subsystems involving complex technologies and sophisticated weapon systems," they said.

The government plans to spend $250 billion (200 billion pounds) over the next decade modernising its military, in which it wants a greater role for domestic defence firms. Foreign companies seeking to bid for contracts must establish joint ventures with Indian firms, majority-owned by the latter.

L&T and MBDA said their venture will look to develop and supply fifth generation anti-tank guided missiles, missiles for coastal batteries and high-speed target drones.

Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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