Indian state-owned aerospace and defence public sector unit Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Navy.

The partnership is intended to develop a joint Technology Incubation Forum (TIF). This new setting will allow the parties to work jointly on the development of emerging technologies.

The agreement was signed at Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy) in New Delhi.

The defence ministry said in a statement: “The Technology Incubation Forum reflects the joint vision of Indian Navy and Bharat Electronics Limited towards innovative and creative thinking and fostering development of Emerging Technologies.”

“The broad charter of the TIF includes technology development in the domain of weapons & sensors, information technology and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, quantum computing, autonomous platforms/ robotics, image processing and cognitive radio.”

“The TIF will spearhead mission mode development of deployable products under the government’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative with involvement of industry, academia and start-ups.”

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Atmanirbhar Bharat aims to make India self-reliant and increase domestic defence manufacturing in the country.

It was recently revealed that the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC), ‘INS Vikrant’ will be commissioned next year.

The Indian Government has also cleared an approximately $5.88bn (Rs430bn) project for the construction of six new conventional submarines for the navy.

In January this year, BEL was contracted to deliver laser dazzlers for the service.