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Defence ministry opens up military design projects for private sector

Several major military design and development projects have been opened up to the private sector by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), with at least four of them being funded by the government and supported by the armed forces. 

In a series of measures meant to promote the manufacture of weapons systems that are manufactured locally, the center has declared that 25 percent of the annual defense research and development budget has been reserved for private firms and startups. 

The industry is developing a major system for new light battle tanks that the army needs for mountain warfare under a competitive process. This has been named as the ‘Indian Light Tank’ and it gained urgency after the operations in Eastern Ladakh following Chinese aggression.  

A communication system, an airborne electro optical pod, and a jammer for the Indian Aero Force are also on the list of projects that will be funded by the government. These projects are expected to see intense competition as many Indian companies have invested in these areas in collaboration with foreign partners. 

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