Given the number of well-informed military experts who visit this blog, may I tap into the bank of their wisdom.
We have all heard about the "Strategic Partnership" model mooted by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The Aatre Committee has submitted recommendations (see my article in January) for choosing one private companies in each of seven "strategic segments" --- aircraft; helicopters; aero engines; submarines; warships; guns and artillery; and armoured vehicles --- and two private companies for each of three other segments --- metallic material and alloys; non-metallic materials; and ammunition, including smart munitions --- who will be the MoD's "preferred partners" for manufacturing in India, based on foreign ToT.
The committee has also laid down eligibility norms for being chosen as a "strategic partner".
My question is: does the "strategic partner" model merely replace a public sector monopoly with a private sector one? Should the MoD leave it to market forces to choose the Indian partner, rather than forcing a pre-nominated "strategic partner" on the foreign vendor?
Would it be wiser to narrow down the field by specifying eligibility norms for private companies, along the lines of the Raksha Utpadan Ratna (RuR model) that had been mooted between 2005-2007?
Your thoughts please.