Reliance Defence in pact with Emirati company

Mumbai, Sep 28 (IANS) Reliance Defence, a part of the industrialist Anil Ambani group, has inked a strategic pact with Emirates Defence Industries, a leading company in the area in the UAE, for collaborations in the defence and aviation space for a host of areas.

“The companies have agreed to jointly explore opportunities for manufacturing and building capabilities in defence vehicles, aviation, equipment, armament, electronics, commercial and naval ships and maintenance of military equipment,” a spokesperson for Reliance Group said.

The partnership will also explore the opportunity in UAE’s defence industry that has budgets for capital expenditures but considers the costs high for setting up units and recruiting scientists and engineers on their own.

“The partnership will aim at bringing synergy in this area,” the spokesperson added.

Reliance Defence, established as a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure, has 11 subsidiaries in niche segments of the defence sector to pursue partnerships with global players, acquire equity stakes in existing companies within and outside and nurse home grown solutions.

The Emirati company is a well-established, national defence services and manufacturing platform, providing world-class facilities, technology and support.

It finalizing the acquisition of at least five firms in the defence and aviation space. These five firms are in addition to the 11 companies that it is is integrating is operations with in the first phase, a statement said.

India spends around Rs.8,000 crore on maintenance of aircraft alone and the two groups see a lot of commonality in terms of platforms used by the Armed forces in both countries — Mirage 2000, Hawk trainers, Pilatus PC7 and Lockheed Martin transport aircraft — to purse opportunities.

“The decision last week (by India) to acquire 22 Apache AH-64 attack helicopters and 15 Chinook CH 47 Heavy Lift helicopters for $3 billion (from the US) furthers the cause to domestically undertake the induction and operational support of the fleet,” said a source.

In fact, the two sides also view the collaboration as an essential component in exploiting the opportunities presented by the proposed Dhirubhai Ambani Aerospace Park at Mihan in Maharashtra, spread over 400 acres, and adjacent to the international airport at Nagpur.

This apart, the Indian Air Force has five aircraft each C-17 and C-130J on their inventory with orders placed to double the numbers. The two companies will also look at servicing a total 20 aircraft, equipped with four engines each (or 80 engines in total) in Abu Dhabi.

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