Adani De­fence Biz Ally has JV with Panama-Hit Ital­ian Com­pany

Al­pha, part­ner of Elet­tron­ica, to make mil­i­tary drones with Adani Aero De­fence

The Economic Times - - Front Page - Manu.Pubby@ times­group.com

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.

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