BAE spreads its wings in India - dnaindia.com New Delhi: BAE Systems, leading global manufacturer in the defence, security and aerospace sector, has designated India as its seventh 'home market' and initiated talks to set up joint ventures with private companies in the country. BAE's other home markets are the US, Sweden, South Africa, the UK, Saudi Arabia and Australia. As part of plans to expand its presence in India, the company has also nominated Naresh Chandra, former cabinet secretary and Indian ambassador to the US, and R C Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki, as members of a newly constituted India Advisory Board. By turnover, BAE is the world's second-largest military and security consortium, with a massive presence in the US, Europe, Australia and Asia. The company's last major deal in India was for the Air Force in 2004, for $1.75 billion, for the sale of 66 Hawk advanced jet trainers (AJTs). "We are interested and excited about India. In fact, we have designated India as a 'Home Market'," Richard L Olver, chairman, BAE Systems, told DNA in New Delhi. "We believe that the right strategy is to come to India and work with Indian companies, Indian staff and with transfer of technology to India," Olver said, adding, the company would look at India not as a market for import, but as a major home base with partners. "We are not doing it (JVs) thinking about requirement from MOD (ministry of defence), but we are just doing with a partner," he said. According to Olver, BAE System's negotiations with Mahindra and Mahindra for a JV for manufacturing land systems in India are in "advance stage." The company is already working with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd in aerospace systems and is looking for a private sector partner for naval systems. BAE is a leading manufacturer in aero, naval and land systems. Among its products are the Hawk AJTs and advanced UAVs, submarines and other ships, and many land systems including howitzers and mine protected vehicles. On problems in execution of the contract for Hawk AJTs, Olver said there was no shortcoming from their side. "We have now delivered all our contractual obligations (to HAL). If there was any issue, we have sorted them out. The ball is in HAL court." The Air Force was happy with their assistance, he asserted.