ICOMM, a group company of Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL), on Tuesday signed a partnership and licensing agreement with UAE-based CARACAL for the transfer-of-technology (ToT) to locally manufacture small arms for the domestic market under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Describing it as the first ever ToT in defence articles by CARACAL, the ICOMM said that it will manufacture the full range of small arms of the UAE-based company, including the versatile EF pistol, modern CMP 9 submachine gun, CAR 814, CAR 816 and CAR 817 tactical rifles, CAR 817 DMR tactical sniper rifle, CSR 50 anti-material sniper rifle, CSR 338 and CSR 308 bolt action sniper rifles and CSA 338 semi-automatic sniper rifle.
The two companies signed the deal at the ongoing IDEX 2023 defence exhibition in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The CARACAL, which has been sourcing components from Indian market for its products, has been in talks with ICOMM for last few months for co-production of small arms in the country. It will make the UAE defence company eligible to do business as per Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2020.
“India’s defence industry is on a strong path to develop its sovereign manufacturing capabilities. This agreement exemplifies the commitment shown by CARACAL to aid India’s ambitions towards making the defence sector self-sufficient,” Sumanth P, Chief of ICOMM, said.
The company stated that CARACAL’s entire range of small arms will be produced at ICOMM’s manufacturing facility in Hyderabad.
Hamad Al Ameri, CEO of CARACAL, described the collaboration as strategically important.
“As India continues to realise its sovereign defence ambitions, we look forward to partnering with ICOMM, whose capabilities in providing end-to-end solutions across multiple sectors, including engineering and defence, complements CARACAL’s portfolio of advanced small arms,” Hamad Al Ameri observed.
The tie-up comes at a time when the Indian Army’s quest for small arms acquisition remained unfulfilled. The CARACAL-ICOMM’s entry will add another player to the fray that has firms like defence-PSUs, Bengaluru-based SSS Defence, PLR which is a joint venture between Adani Group and Israel Weapon Industries (IWI), and another JV between the Kalyani Group and Thales.