Adani Defence Biz Ally has JV with Panama-Hit Italian Company
Alpha, partner of Elettronica, to make military drones with Adani Aero Defence
New Delhi: Alpha Design Technologies, an Indian defence electronics firm which recently tied up with Adani Aero Defence Systems, part of the Gautam Adani-led group, is also the main Indian partner of Elettronica, the Italian defence company whose name has surfaced in the ‘Panama Papers’ for allegedly paying commissions in India. The Alpha Design-Adani Aero Defence agreement is to produce military drones in partnership with Israeli firm Elbit. The agreement was announced on March 30. Alpha Design’s Chairman Col HS Shankar told ET his company is in partnership with Adani Aero Defence.
Elettronica’s name came to fore after global media coverage of offshore accounts in Panama
On Alpha’s partnership with Elettronica, Shankar said the venture was “set up for a project that’s yet to take shape”. The Adani Group did not respond to questions from ET. Elettronica has denied any wrongdoing after the Panama Papers surfaced.
Elettronica’s name surfaced earlier this week after global media coverage of information on offshore accounts based in Panama. Reports have suggested that the Italian defence company had agreements to pay 5-17% commissions for Indian defence contracts. Elettronica has denied any wrongdoing.
The Italian firm has a 20% stake in an Indian joint venture — Alpha Elettronica Defence Systems Pvt Ltd — with Alpha Design. The Bengaluru-based joint venture started in 2007 and is still active. In its latest annual report, dated September 2015, the company says a project to develop a “self-protection jammer system” was in the “final stages of testing and integration on the main platform”. The Panama Papers refer to a marketing agreement between Elettronica and an offshore firm Intertrade Projects, and that agreement mentions selfprotection jammers for the Indian Air Force’s Sukhoi 30MKI aircraft.
The tie-up between Alpha Design, which holds 80% stake in this JV with Elettronica, and Adani Aero Defence is the first public announcement on defence production by the group.