23 firms shortlisted for making defence equipment: expert

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Patiala, Oct 6 (UNI) As many as 23 private Indian or foreign manufacturers have been shortlisted for manufacturing of defence equipment in India, which would also be exported to friendly countries, said Dr A S Pillai, CEO and Managing Director, BrahMos Aerospace, here today.

In an interaction with media after getting degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) at Thapar University here, Mr Pillai said they have export orders of around 2 US billion dollars for BrahMos cruise missiles, which were the best in the world.

He added that the missile, produced in an Indo-Russian joint venture, has network-centric warfare capabilities, ''using information from satellites, troops on the ground, submarines and ships to guide the weapon'', he said.

''BrahMos, which has already been inducted into the Indian Navy and Army, will be inducted into the Air Force by 2012. It will be integrated with Sukhoi-30 aircrafts,'' Dr Pillai said.

Earlier, Dr A Sivathanu Pillai, Distinguished Scientist and Chief Controller, Research and Development, DRDO, and CEO and MD, BrahMos Aerospace, was awarded a Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) for his outstanding contribution to the field of defence research and development.

Mr Tarun Das, Chief Mentor, Confederation of Indian Industry, and President, Thapar University and Chairman&CEO, Avantha Gautam Thapar, presided over the ceremony.

Dr Abhijit Mukherjee, Director, Thapar University conferred the degrees to the graduating students.

On the occasion, new facilities at the university, including the faculty chambers and MBA and undergraduate blocks were inaugurated.

Mr Gautam Thapar also laid the foundation stone for the sports complex.

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