India pitches to private companies for help in defence drive

India presented a long-delayed plan to industry officials on Thursday for selecting private arms manufacturers to help build an indigenous defence industry, a government document. Local companies will be chosen as strategic partners that can combine with foreign firms to manufacture single-engine fighter aircraft, helicopters, submarines and armoured vehicles, according to the document. New Delhi hopes the yet-to-be-finalised "Strategic Partnership" model will boost the role of private companies, grow India's small defence industry, which is dominated by state-run companies, and end its role as the world's largest arms importer.

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