Israel's Rafael, Reliance Defence in JV for air defence systems

Reliance Defence Ltd, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Anil Ambani group's Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, and Israel's state-owned Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd have entered into a strategic alliance to set up a joint venture company in India to build air-to-air missiles, air defence systems and large aerostats.

Rafael is a technology power house and one of the world leaders in defence technologies and the joint venture will provide big thrust into the field of indigenous production and development of high precision and state-of-the-art weapon systems in India, a Reliance Infra release stated.

Reliance will have 51 per cent holding in the joint venture while Rafael will have 49 per cent as per the current guidelines of the Government of India.

The joint venture company will be located at Pithampur, Indore in Madhya Pradesh and will generate more than 3,000 highly skilled jobs. The project will have an initial capital outlay of more than Rs1,300 crore, without including the cost of technology.

Rafael is a market leader in the air-to-air missile segment and has world renowned product like Python and Derby. Similarly, for the air defence systems, Rafael portfolio includes SPYDER short range and medium range and Barak missiles family of surface-to-air missiles in the short and medium range.

Rafael has already provided large aerostat systems to the Indian Air Force for meeting its surveillance, reconnaissance, communication and intelligence needs.

The two companies, through the joint venture, will offer the entire range of products in these fields to the Indian armed forces. Rafael is also willing to offer solutions through the joint venture company even for the ongoing `Buy Global' programs where it is currently competing, in line with `Make in India' initiatives of the Indian government.

Based on the current requirements, the joint venture company will address multiple programmes valued at more than Rs65,000 crore over next ten years.