Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) is working on core technologies traditionally denied to armed forces by foreign vendors that will make “India truly self-reliant and not  nam ke vaste (for namesake)“ in the defence sector, its CEO and MD Sukaran Singh told BusinessLine in an exclusive interview.

Though, under Aatmanirbar Bharat scheme, the government has increased budgetary support and created ecosystem to encourage indigenous private companies participation, Singh advocated that India should have control over defence technology that will augment the capacity to build next generation platforms.

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India realised the frustration on global dependence for military hardware during Galwan face off with China in May 2020.

“TASL is not only driven by commerciality, we are also driven very much by doing, solving complex problems which also have to be commercially viable in the medium and long term. If we had gone from the other side, say commercial driven then we would have had a different set of portfolios... We do projects which will make India truly self-reliant and not  nam ke vaste (for namesake),” TASL CEO insisted.

Production of C-295

Singh also exhibited confidence of starting production of 40 of the 56 C-295 transport aircraft for Indian armed forces from 2025 even though the TASL, which has a turnover of ₹4,000 crore, is still to announce the location where it would set up its manufacturing unit.

The Board has to take a call but the company is sticking to timelines of production, said the CEO. Last September, the government had signed a ₹22,000-crore deal with Airbus, the European multinational aerospace corporation, for flying in 16 platforms and manufacturing in India remaining C-295 aircraft in collaboration with Tata Son’s defence arm – TASL.

Singh also stated the TASL, which has undertaken projects among others of land systems, optronics, unmanned systems, artificial intelligence and cyber warfare, will be in a position to manufacture helicopters and next generation aircraft with the kind of investments it has done in R&D and related infrastructure issues.