Tata Power bags order to modernise 30 IAF airfields

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Tata Power has bagged a contract worth over Rs 1,000 crore to modernise the infrastructure of 30 Indian Air Force airfields.

The order from the Ministry of Defence is to basically upgrade facilities, such as lighting and navigational aids, and then integrate them.

Mr Rahul Chaudhry, Chief Executive Officer, Tata Power Strategic Electronics Division (SED), told Business Line that what is of significance is that the order heralds the entry of the private sector in the defence sector.

“This contract, won against a global defence tender of the MoD, is a watershed moment, not only for us, but also for increasing private sector participation in the Indian defence sector,” he said.

The US defence major Raytheon is a technology provider to Tata Power SED and will provide software for ATM (Air Traffic Management). “It is a vendor relationship,” he said.

The upgrade programme, called MAFI-I (Modernisation of Airfield Infrastructure – Phase-I), aims to improve the capability of the airfields to handle the modern combat air fleets being inducted by the IAF. The contract is scheduled for completion in 42 months.

The MAFI will equip the airfields with the latest gadgetry and aids, including meteorological facilities, tactical air navigation, upgraded communication systems, airfield approach aid systems, VHF and other navigation aids.

The Defence Ministry issued the request for proposal for the programme in 2008.

Sources said work would begin at the Bhatinda airbase in Punjab and move on to other airfields so that the IAF can operate its next generation of combat aircraft. Eight key airfields along the Sino-Indian border would also be modernised.

MAFI-I will be followed by phase II where another 28 will be refurbished.

The Ministry of Defence, while awarding the contract to Tata Power, has the option to invite Tata Power to execute Phase II as well.

Mr Anil Sardana, Managing Director, Tata Power, said the order signifies the recognition of Tata Power SED's capability to support the Indian defence establishment.

Tata Power SED has contributed to programmes such as the Pinaka MBRL System, launchers for the Akash Air Force and Army programmes, the Samyukta Electronic Warfare Programme and the Command & Control Systems for Air Defence and Naval Combat.

Published on April 11, 2011

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