Reliance Defence, the defence manufacturing arm of the Anil Ambani group, said it will form a joint venture in India with global defence manufacturer Thales to carry out some contracts related to the Rafale jet deal.
The Indian company will hold 51% of the equity while the foreign entity will hold the remaining. Reliance Defence is a wholly-owned subsidiary of group flagship Reliance Infrastructure.
“Leveraging Thales offset commitment as part of the Rafale Contract, the JV is to develop Indian capabilities to integrate and maintain the Radar and Electronic Warfare sensors,” the Indian company said.
The JV will develop skills and activity in the Special Economic Zone of Mihan-Nagpur together with an Indian supply chain for the manufacturing of microwave technologies and high performance airborne electronics, it added.
“Set up with a long term strategy to serve the Indian needs, this partnership between Thales and Reliance Defence Limited will strengthen the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” vision.”
Thales specializes in technology for Aerospace, Transport, Defence and Security markets.
It has 64,000 employees in 56 countries and sales of €14.9 billion in 2016.
“With over 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design and deploy equipment, systems and services to meet the most complex security requirements. Its exceptional international footprint allows it to work closely with its customers all over the world,” the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group said.
Present in India since 1953, Thales today has over 300 employees working with its wholly- owned Indian subsidiary, Thales India Pvt. Ltd.
In October last year, Anil Ambani group said itś unit Reliance Aerospace entered into a joint venture with Dassault Aviation, a French aircraft manufacture to focus on the execution of offset obligations as a part of the 36 Rafale fighter Jets purchase agreement at a value of €7.87 billion (Rs 59 crore) signed between France and India on September 23, 2016.
The agreement includes a 50% offset obligation which is the largest ever offset contract in the history of India. Offset obligation means part of the components must be made locally.
Anil Ambani, Chairman Reliance Group said: “The strategic partnership with global leader Thales is another major milestone in our march towards best in the class manufacturing at support facilities for Military hardware in India. Reliance is committed to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiatives of the Government and will continue to remain in the fore front, partnering with the best in the World.”