Bhopal, May 5: As part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, Punj Lloyd Ltd and the Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) have on Wednesday inaugurated a manufacturing unit of small arms in Madhya Pradesh’s Malanpur. This is the very first joint venture programme under the make in India initiative.Also Read - No Bus, No Problem! This MP Boy Rides a Horse Daily to Reach His School, Pictures Go Viral

The inauguration was held in the presence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Israel’s ambassador Daniel Carmon. The unit will nor only give a boost to India’s defence manufacturing capabilities, but also boost the country’s increasingly expanding ties with Israel. Also Read - Make in India: FESSChain to Launch InBlock Mobiles For Domestic Smartphone Market

The JV has been named, Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems (PLR) and will manufacture four products in the small arms sector. These include the X95 carbine and assault rifle, Galil sniper rifle, Tavor assault rifle and Negev Light Machine Gun (LMG). Also Read - Another Blow to China as Railways Floats Fresh Tender, Pushes 'Make in India' For 44 Vande Bharat Trains

The plant will, at the beginning, only manufacture only components. After receiving the required license, the firm will expand to the complete manufacture of arms in a phased out manner. Apart from being used for the consumption of India’s security forces, the finished goods would also be exported to Israel and other countries.

Commenting on the initiative, Michel Ben-Baruch, head of SIBAT, Israel Ministry of Defence said, “Israel’s Ministry of Defence fully and wholeheartedly supports this cooperation and will continue to support the transfer of technology and information also in the future, for the betterment of improved advanced tools. Israel and India consider their defence industry cooperation as a monumental step forward, towards a future of immense potential.”

The partnership is particularly suitable as Punj Lloyd, a traditionally infrastructure focused company, will have the required capital and expertise of the Indian manufacturing environment, while Israel’s IWI has experience manufacturing technologically advanced systems for military purposes, that is exported worldwide.

This was highlighted by Samy Katsav, chairman of the SK Group to which IWI belongs, who said, “Through this collaboration, we offer the combination of battle proven combat technology of IWI and the proficiency of a renowned Indian business partner. I am extremely upbeat about the opportunities in the sector and confident of contributing to the Make in India programme.”