India’s first private missile production unit is no longer a dream but true. Kalyani group and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems together commissioned an anti- tank worth Rs. 70 crore.
The joint venture; Kalyani Rafael Advanced Defense Systems was done with 51% ownership resting with Kalyani group. Kalyani group is now the first private sector entity to bring in such weapon systems in the country.
Kalyani group chairman Baba Kalyani said, “JV is ready to supply the missile, Spike, to the Army, and 90 per cent of its components will be sourced locally.”
He further added, “The Spike missile is a fully-built ATGM (anti-tank guided missile) unit, except for the explosives and the propellants, and we can supply this 2.5 km range weapon to the Army within a couple of weeks of getting orders.”
The entire setup done is 24,000 sq. ft. It was completed in under 10 months and can produce a thousand missiles.
But why are there delays?
When asked about the delays, Kalyani said that there have been procedural delays. It should also be noted that the first request for qualification for the anti-tank guided missile production was invited in the year 2010 but nothing moved ahead as there was a lack of policy clarity in the defence sector on FDI.
Kalyani said today that they are ready to invest another Rs. 60- 70 crore in the facility over the next two years but it all depends on the government.
The JV will further invest in advanced manufacturing techniques and high-end technology to design, develop and manufacture weapon systems. This will not only bring in betterment for the force but will also increase employment.
Kalyani said, “This venture will easily give employment to over 1000 people through the vendors who are all in the small scale sector.”
The plant on completion was inaugurated by Commerce & IT minister Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao and Telangana industries in the presence of Daniel Carmon, Israeli envoy.
The facility will enable the production of all high-end technology systems for the defence forces and will be engaged in developing a wide range of advanced products able to deliver electro- optics, remote weapon systems, precision guided munitions and command control systems.
The facilities also aim to export products to other countries especially South East Asia. This was made clear by the president and chief executive of Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, Yoav Har- Evan.
Rama Rao added, “Hyderabad is home to over 30,000 defence electronic engineers as it houses almost all public sector entities working in this field.”
Doesn’t this ring a bell; greater ammunition and employment in the country?
Source: The Hindu