In an interaction with ATK Defense, it transpired that they are an industry leader in small calibre ammunition, precision and strike weapons, missile warning solutions, and tactical rocket motors across air-, sea-, and land-based systems. The group is the largest US producer of small-calibre ammunition as well as a leading producer of medium- and large-calibre ammunition and mediumcalibre chain guns. The group is home to ATK's advanced antiradiation guided missile (AARGM), next-generation GPS-guided mortar and artillery projectiles, joint and allied threat awareness system (JATAS), AAR-47 missile warning system, fuses and warheads, propulsion and controls for missile defence interceptors, weaponised special mission aircraft and advanced propulsion. The group also brings extensive experience and expertise in defence facility management and modernisation.
(SP’s): Can you tell us about your immediate plans for India and cooperation with Indian armed forces? Norbert Ducrot (Ducrot):
We have a wide range of products that are suited to meet the armed forces’ needs, as we showcased during Defexpo 2012. At this stage, we are still awaiting a decision from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) regarding the 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter request for proposal (RFP), which has been ongoing for eight years now. We are very confident about the helicopter that we have proposed—the AS550 C3 Fennec, a new generation helicopter—fully meeting the Army’s and Air Force’s requirements. We don’t foresee any reasons for further delays because the MoD has followed all procedures.
In this context, we are ready to extend our 40-year industrial relationship with local partners—from transfer of technology (ToT) and integration into Eurocopter global supply chain to setting up of production line, with a comprehensive training system to be established.
We already have a very successful partnership with HAL. Eurocopter/HAL licensed production has been the foundation of the Indian helicopter industry for the last five decades where over 600 Cheetahs and Chetaks have been produced. HAL is also part of the Eurocopter global supply chain for composite helicopter fuselages. In recent years, we expanded our cooperation with Mahindra and Mahindra and signed various industrial and commercial partnerships, including the production of the Ecureuil family airframes and customisation of civil helicopters in India. And of course, we also have a long-standing partner in Pawan Hans, who owns the biggest Dauphin fleet in the world and operates a Eurocopter-approved maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) centre for Dauphin helicopters.
SP’s: What capabilities did you showcase during Defexpo 2012? Ducrot:
In anticipation of the armed forces’ needs, we showcased the AS550 C3 Fennec, AS565 MBe Naval Panther and EC725 rotorcraft.
The AS550 C3 Fennec is proposed for the Army and Air Force in the 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters (RSH) competition.
SP’s: Any important milestone/event you may like to refer to which would project your company’s interest in India strongly? Ducrot:
Eurocopter is the first international manufacturer to set up a full-fledged subsidiary in India in October 2010. With the HQ in New Delhi, it has expanded its footprint with presence now in other major cities such as Bangalore and Mumbai. The growth in staff strength will also see the percentage of Indian employees increasing in