After decades of failure trying to
develop domestic military technology, India is trying another approach; joint
ventures with Western defense manufacturers. A recent example is Indian
electronics manufacturer Samtel partnering with European defense manufacturers
Thales, to manufacture the Thales helmet mounted displays, and offer them for
sale to India. This is a wise move, as India is more likely to buy from a
domestic firm. Samtel actually has a manufacturing facility in Germany, and has
developed close relationships with European defense firms. Moreover, many
Indian high tech firms are now staffed (or even founded) by Indian engineers
and managers who received graduate degrees in Western universities, worked in
the West for a while, and then returned to India with all that education and
experience. This has made Indian firms more competitive in the world market.
This use of licensed technology, rather than trying to re-invent it in India,
is but another example of that experience.
China, and to a lesser extent Russia, now follow a similar path, but
they tend to steal the technology rather than paying for licenses.