Astra Rafael Communication System, a Joint Venture between Astra Microwave and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd of Israel, inaugurated a new facility at Hardware Technology Park close to Hyderabad international airport.

After inaugurating the facility, G Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of State, Home Affairs, in the presence of Ron Malka, Ambassador of Israel to India, said that the Narendra Modi government has taken a number of steps to boost indigenous manufacturing as part of Make in India mission.

He said the foreign direct index (FDI) is being encouraged in a number of areas including defence and railways.

The Joint Venture of 51:49 per cent, is in line with the Government's "Make in India" initiative, and will invest in high-end technology and advanced production techniques to design, develop and manufacture state-of-the-art Tactical Communication systems (BNET), for the Indian Armed Forces.

The Joint Venture’s focus is on leveraging the technological ability and indigenous manufacturing capability, combined with Rafael's technology expertise to support the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.

This green field venture envisages creation of significant direct and indirect employment opportunities, import substitution and foreign direct investments into the country.

ARC would be India's first private sector company to manufacture cutting-edge Software Defined Radios in multiple variants, at its facility spread across an area of over 20,000 sq ft. It will also be involved in the development and manufacture of a wide range of other advanced capabilities, with the aim of opening new export markets.

Rafael’s President and CEO Yoav Har-Even said, “Our cooperation with India is strategic. This has been demonstrated a number of times, not just in declarations, but in actions. The inauguration of the facility here today is yet another proof of Rafael’s implementation of India’s Prime Minister’s Make in India strategy and policy and of our ongoing and uncompromising support for the needs and requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.”

S Gurunatha Reddy, Managing Director of Astra Microwave, said the facility has been set up with an investment of Rs 35 crore and started its operations with a 30 million US dollar order to be delivered within 24 months. An R&D facility is also being set up for innovations in new areas.

ARC currently has ongoing orders for providing Software Defined Radios to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Rafael Advanced Defence Systems is one of Israel's largest defence companies with 2018 annual revenues of over $2.5 billion.