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Antony’s missile message

New Delhi, June 3: Defence minister A.K. Antony today said the government had asked the Defence Research and Development Organisation to cut down dependence on foreign collaborations in missile development even as the Left asked for greater transparency on joint ventures with Israel.

Antony was speaking to the members of the parliamentary consultative committee on defence. Left members P.R. Rajan and Shamik Lahiri are understood to have asked for details of a missile development joint venture with Israel.

Antony and DRDO head M. Natarajan, who is the scientific adviser to the defence minister, said each joint venture was vetted before being signed.

The Centre has effectively put on hold a joint venture for a Rs 10,000-crore medium-range missile, to be co-developed by the DRDO’s Defence Research and Development Laboratory and the Israel Aircraft Industries. This follows a CBI probe into a deal through which the Barak ship missile defence systems were procured by the navy.

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