Hyderabad: Hyderabad’s defence ecosystem gets a new boost. Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS), a joint venture between Israeli defence technology company, Rafael Advanced Systems and Kalyani Strategic Systems, has received a $100 million (over Rs 680 crore) order from Rafael to deliver 1,000 BARAK-8 MRSAM missiles’ kits, which will be supplied to Bharat Dynamics for further integration.
The kits will be used by the Indian Army and Air Force. KRAS will take four years to deliver the kits starting the first deliveries from the fourth quarter of 2019.
On receiving the order, Baba Kalyani, chairman, Kalyani Group, said, “This order is a testimony to the capabilities that exists in the country and how they can be utilised to truly achieve the aim of ‘Make in India’. We will be receiving all the technology from Rafael to execute this order. We are confident of executing many more such orders.”
The Rafael-Kalyani joint venture is one of the largest defence foreign direct investments in India, which took place in 2017.
Speaking of emerging opportunities, Kalyani added, “In addition to meeting India’s defence needs, we will also be looking at exporting advanced weapon systems from Rafael portfolio to friendly nations, as EXIM credit is given to nations procuring systems from India. We also plan to leverage the engineering expertise of the existing KRAS’ team towards integration of weapon platforms such as Derby MK3 beyond visual range air-to-air missile on India’s light combat aircraft and Long Range Glide Bomb (LRGB) MK 2 programme for various aircraft. KRAS has already started to offer product life cycle services for Low-Level Quick Reaction Missile system (LLQRM) for Indian Air Force from Hyderabad.”
KRAS is planning to add a new unit in the State. KRAS, which has set up its first facility (24,000 sq ft) at Hardware Park in Hyderabad in August 2017, is contemplating a second facility in Telangana, for which it is scouting for 100 acres. The company is also going to ramp up technical staff to 300 by 2023.
Baba Kalyani said, “With the help of proactive Telangana government, we could get the land for our first facility quickly and set up our unit in record time. We will keep expanding the existing facility as we get more orders in future. We are now looking at a second location in Telangana for integrating defence systems. We are talking to the State government.”
Rajinder Singh Bhatia, president, CEO-Defence & Aerospace, Kalyani Group, told Telangana Today, “In the proposed second facility, we could look to work on multiple defence systems. We expect to begin commercial operations at the second facility by 2021. There are a lot of countries where Rafael has partnerships and we will cater to these export markets through our facilities. Our exports could contribute to 50 per cent of our business from 2020 onwards.”
According to P A Praveen, director- Defence & Aerospace, Government of Telangana, a Defence Park is being envisaged near Hyderabad, where KRAS could possibly be provided land for the second facility. Talks are in progress.
Highlighting KRAS strengths, Rafael EVP Brigadier General (ret.) Pini Yungman, said, “KRAS is not just dealing with interceptor missiles but also is providing near-the-site customer support with the maintenance needed for the systems. In the years to come, we want KRAS facilities to produce high technology systems what Rafael develops in Israel.”