With 12 licences Reliance Group eyeing $60 bn defence pie

Mumbai, March 9 (IANS) With the acquisition of Pivavav Defende formally in its fold, Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group is eyeing a sizeable share in the potential, $60-billion pie of the Indian and overseas defence-related market where it now has a presence, sources said.

Towards this, the government has already approved 12 industrial licenses for Reliance Defence, a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure for the manufacture of a wide range of equipment required by the armed forces in India and abroad.

Listing the potential, sources said in the aerospace segment, where Reliance Group has a nod for military aircraft and choppers, the potential is Rs.9,000 crore in amphibious aircraft for Indian Navy, light choppers worth Rs.20,000 crore and medium-to-heavy choppers worth Rs.50,000 crore.

In land systems, where the group is looking at missiles and all-terrain combat vehicles, the potential has been assessed at Rs.100,000 crore over 10-15 years. Similar projects are being eyed in underwater systems, weapons, radars, unmanned aerial systems and strategic electronics.

As regards Pipavav, Russia has selected its shipyard for the upcoming project for four frigates valued at over Rs.30,000 crore. Reliance Group is also looking at a second shipyard on India’s eastern coastline, sources said.

Reliance Defence is also setting up the Dhirubhai Ambani Aerospace Park at Mihan near Nagpur in Maharashtra and an Aerospace centre of excellence in Bengaluru.

At the aerospace Park, spread over 400 acres at the multi-modal international cargo hub the idea is to create an ecosystem for the indigenous manufacture of aerospace components, with a cluster of manufacturers for components, spares and avionics.

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