2016: “A land­mark year for Thales in In­dia”

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Aviation Defence & Inindia -

In con­ver­sa­tion with Stephane Lav­i­gne, Thales, VP S&M–In­dia, he states, “As we have stepped into 2017, it gives an op­por­tu­nity to look back and re­flect on the past year for Thales in In­dia. With a rich legacy of over six decades in In­dia, Thales has been con­tribut­ing sig­nif­i­cantly to­wards the growth story of the coun­try. The year 2016 saw some key mile­stones in Thales’s suc­cess­ful on­go­ing part­ner­ship with In­dia, both in­dus­tries and armed forces.

One of the sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ments of 2016 was the con­tract for 36 Rafale air­craft for the In­dian Air Force (IAF). Thales, a mem­ber of the Rafale team, along­side Das­sault Avi­a­tion, pro­vides a num­ber of state-of-the-art equip­ment and sys­tems aboard the Rafale. Th­ese in­clude the pro­vi­sion of RBE2 AESA radar, the Spec­tra elec­tronic war­fare sys­tem, op­tron­ics, the com­mu­ni­ca­tion nav­i­ga­tion and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem (CNI), the ma­jor­ity of the cock­pit dis­play sys­tems, power gen­er­a­tion sys­tems and a lo­gis­tics sup­port com­po­nent. Rafale’s new ex­port suc­cess demon­strates Thales’ abil­ity, along­side Das­sault Avi­a­tion and its part­ners, to con­stantly meet the cus­tomer’s high­est ex­pec­ta­tions through in­no­va­tion, mastery of ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy and in­dus­trial ex­cel­lence. This con­tract will cre­ate hun­dreds of jobs on Thales man­u­fac­tur­ing sites in France, as well as for nu­mer­ous part­ners and sub-con­trac­tors in In­dia and France.

An­other key high­light of the year was the sign­ing of a part­ner­ship agree­ment be­tween Thales and BEL-Thales Sys­tems Lim­ited (BTSL) for joint de­vel­op­ment of the PHAROS fire con­trol radar that will meet re­quire­ments of armed forces in In­dia and in other global ge­ogra­phies. The Joint Ven­ture (JV)com­pany - BTSL at­tests to the long and suc­cess­ful work­ing re­la­tion­ship that Thales has had with Bharat Elec­tron­ics Lim­ited (BEL).

The com­pany also has a JV with Sam­tel for mil­i­tary avion­ics and air­borne sen­sor sys­tems and with L&T Tech­nol­ogy Ser­vices for avion­ics soft­ware. This is in ad­di­tion to the long term part­ner­ship that Thales has with HAL – both have been work­ing closely for over 50 years now. Fur­ther in line with the ‘Make in In­dia’ pol­icy, Thales has been co-op­er­at­ing with the In­dian pri­vate sec­tor par­tic­u­larly large cor­po­rate play­ers, SMEs and MSMEs to build trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy and sup­ply chain part­ner­ships for In­dian as well as for in­ter­na­tional mar­kets. Th­ese as­so­ci­a­tions un­der­line Thales’s long-term com­mit­ment to In­dia and its plans to en­hance its in­dus­trial foot­print in the coun­try.

Tak­ing for­ward its par­tic­i­pa­tion in the mod­erni­sa­tion process of In­dia’s armed forces, Thales an­nounced the award of a con­tract from BELTECH to pro­vide Cather­ine ther­mal imag­ing cam­eras for T-90 Main Bat­tle Tanks (MBTs) of the In­dian Army in May 2016. As part of this con­tract, Thales is do­ing a trans­fer of pro­duc­tion to in­te­grate 260 com­pact LWIR ther­mal imag­ing (TI) Cather­ine into BELTECH’s TI Sights that will be in­stalled on the T-90 bat­tle tanks of In­dian Army. The Cather­ine ther­mal im­ager is al­ready in ser­vice with the In­dian Army and this new or­der con­sol­i­dates Thales lead­er­ship in op­tron­ics tech­nolo­gies in In­dia.

While th­ese were some of the key high­points, on­go­ing projects like the Mirage 2000 up­grade saw steady progress in 2016. Four up­graded Mirage 2000 air­craft have been de­liv­ered to the In­dian Air Force. The rest of the fleet is be­ing up­graded un­der the re­spon­si­bil­ity of HAL with the sup­port of Das­sault Avi­a­tion and Thales teams, as per the con­tract.

As a global tech­nol­ogy leader, Thales doesn’t only build de­fence and aero­space solutions but also in­vests in the fu­ture through ex­ten­sive R&D ini­tia­tives. Th­ese ini­tia­tives en­able Thales to re­main ahead of com­pe­ti­tion and de­velop tech­nolo­gies for to­mor­row. In line with this ap­proach, Thales has been col­lab­o­rat­ing with top ranked aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions. In 2016, the com­pany signed MoUs with IIT Bom­bay and IIT Delhi to cre­ate a PhD fel­low­ship pro­gramme in Jan­uary and Septem­ber re­spec­tively.

Thales is most en­thu­si­as­tic about In­dia and the vi­sion of‘ ‘Make in In­dia’ which is en­er­gis­ing the sec­tor and paving the way for In­dia to evolve into a global man­u­fac­tur­ing hub and a de­fence ex­porter. The com­pany ex­pects this trend to con­tinue while sim­pli­fy­ing and ac­cel­er­at­ing the pro­cesses for the same. This will not only help In­dian in­dus­tries be­come glob­ally com­pet­i­tive but will also al­low com­pa­nies like Thales to fur­ther sup­port the coun­try’s mod­erni­sa­tion needs. Through its ‘Go to In­dia’ ap­proach, Thales has an ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in li­ais­ing with nu­mer­ous group sup­ply chain part­ners to sup­port the lo­cal in­dus­try in In­dia and open up growth op­por­tu­ni­ties for them.

Look­ing for­ward, the com­pany will con­tinue to re­spond to mar­ket re­quire­ments, build a strong ecosys­tem of part­ners and sup­port the process of trans­form­ing In­dia into a global in­no­va­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing hub”.

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