Mahindra Defence inks pacts with Japanese, Israeli firms for UAVs and seaplanes

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on April 11, 2018 Published on April 11, 2018

SP Shukla, Group President — Aerospace, Defence and Steel, Mahindra Group and Chairman, Mahindra Aerospace   -  BusinessLine

The Mahindra Group announced two partnerships for its foray into new areas in the Defence business – one with Israeli company Aeronautics for naval shipborne UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and the other with Japan-based ShinMaywa Industries Ltd for naval seaplanes.

Aeronautics and Mahindra plans to supply UAV system that can be launched and recovered from Indian warships.

“It’s our first foray into UAVs (popularly called as drones). Aeronautics is a leading manufacturer of UAVs and its products are sold in nearly 55 countries,” SP Shukla, Group President, Aerospace & Defence Sector, Mahindra Group and Chairman, Mahindra Defence, told BusinessLine.

“It’s our first venture in India. We were looking for this kind of partnership and discussed with many other companies. But we found an ideal partner in Mahindra,” said Amos Mathan, CEO, Aeronautics.

Together, they will be bid for the projects that are expected to come from the Indian Navy.

“The partnership covers all aspects of ‘Make in India’ programme that includes transfer of technology, indigenisation and assembly of products in India,” he said.

But other things such as investment, assembly unit, structure of the partnership will be decided after the tenders floated by the Navy.

Explaining USPs of the UAVs, Shukla said Israeli firm’s products offered the most-advanced technologies and UAVs can land even in a small ship. “It has sensors and cameras which are absolutely cutting edge and they light in weight,” he added.

Seaplane partnership

Mahindra Group and ShinMaywa Industries Ltd of Japan have decided to join together to supply US-2 amphibian aircraft (seaplane) for the Indian Navy.

US-2, manufactured by ShinMaywa Industries, is a modern heavy amphibious aircraft. It has the state of art equipment, lake landing capability, long endurance and extended radius of operations with large payload capacity. It can operate in very rough sea operations.

India and Japan are now discussing the methodology of procurement of Amphibian Aircraft US-2 requirements of the Indian Navy.

“Our understanding covers an exclusive partnership between the two organisations. Depending on the size which Navy chooses to buy, we will be in a position to indigenise at different levels. Larger the number, more indigenisation can be done. MRO and pilot training have to be done in India notwithstanding the number of planes. We already have pilot training for two major OEMs in India. Navy will have to decide its requirements. But we are ready to serve the country with our products which are ideally suited for their requirements,” said Shukla.

Published on April 11, 2018
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