Samtel Avionics takes to the skies

Amrita Nair Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on December 21, 2015

PUNEET KAURA CEO of Samtel Avionics

Samtel Avionics, a defence MSME with products for avionics and military applications, is on an accelerated growth path. Aided by its joint venture partner Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and the DRDO, Samtel, which is into cockpit displays and equipment for the military, was responsible for the induction of indigenously made multi-function displays (MFDs) on the Sukhoi 30 MKI aircraft, replacing the MFDs imported by HAL.

The Samtel HAL JV became the first Indian company to indigenously produce a hi-tech cockpit display for fighter aircraft. Cockpit displays or MFDs are ranged in front of the Sukhoi 30 MKI pilots, and enables them to get digital signals from dozens of sensors on various aircraft systems.

The Samtel Thales Avionics JV, which is currently supplying displays for the upgrade of the Mirage 2000, a multirole combat fighter from Dassault Aviation of France, is expected to supply MFDs and head-up displays for the Rafale cockpit.

Puneet Kaura, CEO of Samtel Avionics, told Business Line that the JV is ideally positioned to help meet the offset obligations of defence multinationals, and that Samtel has already moved from being a display manufacturing company to a multiple product, high-end technology company. Edited excerpts:

Since most of Rafale’s cockpit displays are provided by Thales, would the Samtel Thales JV also look to supply MFDs and head-up displays for the Rafale cockpit?

The Samtel Thales JV brings Thales’s technological expertise to India as part of Thales's strategy of partnering with leading industry players around the world, and provides the basis for future aerospace development for Thales in India. As of now, the JV is partnering with Thales on the Mirage 2000 upgrade project. The JV has already started dispatching the displays for Mirage 2000 from its production facility in Delhi, NCR.

For the Rafale project, ever since the deal has been announced, discussions between Samtel and Thales have been in progress and many possibilities are being explored. As the offset component in this deal is 50 percent, the Samtel Thales JV is ideally positioned to help meet Thales’s offset obligations. More clarity on this will emerge in the next few months as discussions progress.

Since the JV will create offsets in the avionics and optronics fields as well as redesign and the treatment of obsolete materials, how well is Samtel poised to go it alone?

The Samtel-Thales JV specialises in the design, development, production, sale and support of aeronautical products for the Indian defence markets. Thales’s expertise and know-how in this area will allow the JV to complete its objective of becoming a key private player offering Thales’s 'Made in India' products.

The aim of setting up the production facility in India for the JV was to help fulfill offset obligations in the avionics and optronics fields, as well as redesign and the treatment of obsolete materials, either for the Thales Group or others, with similar offset obligations in India.

Samtel is fully poised to take up on this opportunity with technology support from Thales, and will take advantage of Samtel’s four-decade old expertise in manufacturing.

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Published on December 21, 2015
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