The chiefs of the Indian Army and Royal Saudi Land Forces held discussions and briefings over areas of collaboration here on Tuesday, an official statement said.
In the first visit by the Royal Saudi Land Forces commander, making the deeping bilateral defence cooperation, Lt General Fahd Bin Abdullah Mohammed Al-Mutair, accompanied by other senior officers, arrived in India on a two-day tour.
Lt General Al-Mutair was received by Indian Army chief, General M.M. Naravane on Tuesday at South Block and accorded a ceremonial Guard of Honour.
The two army chiefs then held significant bilateral discussions and were briefed on security aspects and about areas where engagements can be enlarged and deepened. The deliberations also aimed to increase bilateral courses.
During the meeting, the Army Design Bureau made a presentation which covered current capability and competencies within the Indian defence industry. It included systems developed indigenously which have been evaluated and inducted by the Indian Army, including artillery, specialist vehicles, drones, counter drones, helicopters and missiles.
Indian Army officers apprised Saudi military officers about the policy initiatives and enabling provisions put out by the Indian government. They also informed how the start up ecosystem is being facilitated in conjunction with the industry in India. The visiting delegates were also informed that the Indian government is looking for major investment by the private sector and defence research and development has been opened up for industry, startups and academia with 25 per cent of defence research and development budget earmarked for the purpose.
The delegates were also apprised about various niche techniques being developed by armed forces in conjunction with start ups and incubating with academia. They discussed areas of collaboration feasible with the Indian industry to meet requirements of Saudi Land Forces. Other initiatives of the government for ease of doing business were also discussed, said a senior Indian Army officer.
Lt General Al-Mutair also visited the National Defence College where they met a Saudi student.
The Indian Army, in a statement, said: “The relationship between India and Saudi Arabia has grown owing to common interests in economic prosperity, eliminating the scourge of terrorism and mitigating the effects of climate change. Defence diplomacy forms one of the major tenets of the overall relationship.”
Lt General Al-Mutair will return on Wednesday.
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