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Indian Punj Lloyd and Israel Weapon Industries have signed an joint venture to manufacture components of guns in India to be later exported to Israel under the first phase, Defense World reports. The joint venture will manufacture full guns in India for supplying to the security forces in the second phase, Indian Express news daily reports.
IWI has already supplied guns such as TAVOR assault rifles and UZI SMG to security forces in India and also has other major programs in which its small arms are undergoing trials.
The JV will be key in enabling India to pass a higher technological threshold through the adoption of advanced Israeli defence technologies. “We are confident that with technology transfer from IWI, Punj Lloyd is positioned to manufacture the complete range of IWI products from pistols to light machine guns and specialist weapons like sniper rifles, in addition to providing service to the existing IWI products and support for new orders,” Punj Lloyd Chairman, Atul Punj was quoted as saying by the news daily.
Industry sources estimate the opportunity of ongoing programs for small arms in internal and national security to be more than Rs 3,000 crore. Currently, the manufacturing of small arms is completely with the public sector. The Union Cabinet had agreed in 2001 to allow manufacture of small arms in the private sector.
Punj Llyod was among the few private firms, along with L&T and Bharat Forge, which had been granted license by DIPP to manufacture small arms in India in 2001-02.