With an initial investment of Rs 100 crore, the 74:26 joint venture between Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd and Israeli major Rafael Advanced Defence Systems will lead to setting up of a 4-5 acre naval warfare systems manufacturing facility in the city. The JV is expected to be operational by July. Once fully operational by financial year 2013-14, it is expected to reach an annual turnover of about Rs 200- 250 crore from the development of naval systems.
The JV aims at expanding the portfolio of Mahindra's already existing Naval Systems Facility towards developing critical and sophisticated naval systems.
In an exclusive interview with The Indian Express, Brigadier (retd) Khutub Hai, chief executive, Mahindra Defence Systems said, "The Naval Systems Facility is a separate company, fully owned subsidy of Mahindra. We have been looking around for an international partner for a strategic venture in naval systems. Last year, we finalised the talks with Rafael. The MoU was signed in March. We have applied to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for approval which should materialise in about a couple of weeks. Rafael will invest 26 per cent of the initial investment and then it will be a JV."
The JV is expected to expand the existing portfolio of the Naval Systems Facility from sea mines and the company's legacy - Anti Torpedo Defence System (ATDS) - to more sophisticated ATDS for submarine and surface ship besides electronic warfare (EW) systems. "It is a high-technology driven system and requirements are likely to come up for the Indian Navy soon. We want to position ourselves as one of the leading suppliers of this system. We are also working on a range of naval EW systems. Rafael will bring in Unmanned Surface Vehicle. In Phase I, we will focus on a range of naval warfare systems besides our own legacy product. In the second phase, if we are selected by the MoD for manufacturing Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV), some products from Rafael such as remote controlled weapon station, active protections system will also come to the JV," said Hai.
The JV will transform the current facility of the Naval Systems Division from existing 31,000 sq feet rented location in Chinchwad to an all new facility likely to be spread over 4-5 acres with a shop-floor of about 40,000 sq feet in the first phase. The exact location is yet to be finalised.