By Devgyot Ghoshal
(Reuters) – Swedish defense products company Saab will set up a facility to manufacture the Carl-Gustaf M4 weapon system in India, a senior executive said on Tuesday, as the company looks to ramp up production.
Jorgen Johansson, senior vice president, told reporters at a news conference that the facility would start production in 2024.
Johansson declined to provide details of the investment the company would likely make in the facility.
Carl-Gustaf M4 is a recoilless rifle ordered by the Indian Armed Forces.
The new facility will support its production as well as components for system users around the world, the company said in a statement.
“We haven’t done this in any other country,” Johansson said.
India – the world’s largest buyer of Russian arms – has been pressing to expand its defense manufacturing capacity in recent years and increase its military exports.
India now exports more than 130 billion rupees of military equipment out of about 10 billion rupees ($122.62 million) in defense exports nearly eight years ago, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.
“We have set a target of 1.75 trillion defense production by 2025, including export of 350 billion,” Singh told a gathering of defense equipment manufacturers.
There has been a growing interest in the Carl-Gustaf weapon system, which can be used against tanks, since the conflict in Ukraine.
“More countries will seek anti-tank capabilities in the future,” Johansson said.
Earlier this year, Saab said it would boost capacity to meet rising demand.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation,” has prompted many countries, including the tough market Sweden, to increase defense budgets.
(dollar = 81.5510 Indian rupees)