India can export fighter planes, missiles: DRDO chief

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New Delhi, Jun 22: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressing on the need for increasing arms exports, DRDO has said India can sell combat aircraft and missiles whose production cost would be "much lower" than some of the weapons sold by countries such as China.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief Avinash Chander said that the country needs a "policy mechanism" for exporting weapon systems and the defence research agency has suggested a "single window clearance" for sale of arms to friendly foreign countries in a time-bound manner.

"We have a list of equipment that includes the Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas', 'Akash' air defence system, 'Prahar' class of missiles and 'BrahMos' supersonic cruise missiles along with a number of systems that can be exported," he told PTI.

"We are discussing the methodology for developing the export potential as well as a policy mechanism for export of weapon systems," Chander said.

The DRDO chief was asked about a recent comment by the Prime Minister that India should produce arms for itself and also supply them to other nations.

Tejas is a lightweight, multi-role, single-engine tactical fighter aircraft.

Akash, a surface-to-air missile, has a range of 25 kms.

Prahar is a 150 km-range tactical missile system while BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile with a strike range of 290 kms.

Asked about the cost-benefit for countries procuring arms from India, Chander said, "Many times Indian weapons are a lot cheaper.

"There are various other systems, like if you take strategic missiles, the long-range missiles that China sells to Saudi Arabia and the cost at which we produce, it would be one-third or one-fourth," he said. 

PTI

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