L&T pacts with Raytheon for combat aircraft

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New Delhi, Nov 20 (UNI) Construction major Larsen&Toubro Ltd (L&T) today said it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with leading defence contractor Raytheon Company for the medium multi role combat aircraft (MMRCA) programme.

The agreement will encourage pursuit of emerging business opportunities, and provide for in country offset for the MMRCA programme, said a statement.

''While Raytheon has conducted business in India for many years, we are now looking to develop our relationship and presence here in a more meaningful way over the long term,'' said Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems Vice President (International Strategy and Business Development) Wes Motooka.

India has a strong pool of talent, so it makes perfect sense for us to combine Raytheon's world-class technology with the best local expertise as we develop capabilities and solutions to support the nation's emerging requirements, Mr Motooka added.

Raytheon has also signed similar MoUs with Wipro, Bharat Electronics, Godrej&Boyce and Data Patterns India in the past few days.

As the country overhauls its largely Soviet-era military arsenal, it could spend as much as 40 billion dollars over the next five years.

The mother of all Indian defence deal is for an order for 126 fighter jets, a contract worth Rs 42,000 crore, or 10.20 billion dollars.

American companies are now busy pairing up with Indian companies.

Boeing has made a similar agreement with L&T to develop new projects, Northrop Grumman signed on with Bharat Electronics and Dynamatic Technologies to investigate joint opportunities and Lockheed Martin opened a network-centric lab in Gurgaon with Wipro.

L&T Executive Vice President M V Kotwal said, ''This new agreement will help us induct 'state of the art' technology, and expand our range of high value offerings in the defence sector.'' Out of India's budgeted expenditure of Rs 6,80,521 crore for 2007-08, Rs 96,000 crore was earmarked for the defence sector.

UNI

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