Airbus Defence and Space has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with India-based Kadet Defence Systems (KDS) for the sale and marketing of services and products in the field of aerial target systems.

The German defence contractor has already partnered with KDS to offer its manoeuvrable expendable aerial target (MEAT) to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army.

The new agreement is anticipated to extend the initial teaming arrangement to offer additional products within India and for sale to foreign countries.

Airbus Defence and Space India head Peter Gutsmiedl said: "This teaming agreement further demonstrates our clear commitment to India as a strategic market and partner, and underlines our willingness to find mutually productive ventures in line with the ‘Make in India’ concept.

"Airbus Defence and Space is developing a vast range of tangible initiatives in India in cooperation with Indian companies and partners."

"Airbus Defence and Space is developing a vast range of tangible initiatives in India in cooperation with Indian companies and partners.

"This includes investment in a radar development and production facility, extensive aerospace engineering activities, and of course the manufacturing together with Tata of the bulk of an expected fleet of 56 military transport aircraft proposed to replace India’s ageing Avro fleet."

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KDS founder and CEO Avdhesh Khaitan said: "Although both companies are already offering products to the Indian Armed Forces, this teaming arrangement will greatly enhance the size and scope of what we can bid on future programmes."

In particular, the agreement lays a roadmap for technology transfer, joint product development, local manufacturing, as well as provision of joint services in the Asia Pacific region.

KDS’ line of lower speed aircraft is expected to complement Airbus’ higher speed aerial target family, enabling development and manufacture of a wide range of products in Europe and India.