Tata's to bid for Indian Army communications system along with EADS, Raytheon

New Delhi: Making its third major announcement over the last three days the Tata Group has said that it will form a partnership with the European Defence and Aerospace (EADS) consortium to bid for a $1 billion advanced tactical communication system project for the Indian Army.

The bid will be made by Tata Advanced Systems, a newly formed Tata Group umbrella company, in tandem with EADS Defence and Security, the US defence major Raytheon and Precision Electronics. Tata Advanced Systems, at present, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Industries.

Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata said, "with a view to leveraging the capabilities of several Tata companies, we propose to implement the project through a new umbrella company -- Tata Advanced Systems."

Meanwhile, early in the week, Raytheon signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Precision Electronics Limited (PEL), a BSE listed company, to jointly develop and provide communications technology for India's military forces.

PEL is a market leader in India providing communication solutions to both the military and civil sectors. According to the company, it has a ministry of defence (DGQA) approved manufacturing infrastructure, and is strongly poised to garner substantial defence business in the near future as well as take active part in the offset programme.

The tactical communications system project, the bidding for which is likely to be announced later in the year, is aimed at replacing the current Army Radio Engineering Network (AREN) system. It will use the most sophisticated technologies to provide a fully mobile communication system for the Indian Army, putting it at par with the most sophisticated tactical mobile systems currently being developed around the globe.

The Tata Group's other two announcements this week have been related to a joint venture with major aircraft manufacturer Boeing to produce aerospace components in India and a contract with US-based Sikorsky Helicopters to build cabins for S-92 helicopters.