ADA Group’s Reliance Defence has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Ukraine-based ANTONOV for assembly, manufacture and MRO of Antonov platforms in India for both commercial as well as military aircraft.
Company sources said that the facility is being built at Mihan, Nagpur with an initial investment of Rs 6,500 crore. “The facility is being built over 289 acre of land and we have till date acquired around 104 acre of it, work has already commenced on the acquired land, we will be looking at manufacturing both military and small to medium sized commercial passenger aircrafts,” sources said.
“With the government’s focus on regional connectivity and with many of unused and green field airports to be operational in the coming future coupled with a strong passenger growth there should be a strong demand for small and medium sized aircrafts,” sources added.
Meanwhile, a company executive confirmed that the JV’s main focus will be manufacturing of civilian aircrafts which can also be modified as military cargo aircrafts. The JV is looking at delivering the initial orders from Antonov’s base in Ukraine in fully built off the shelf condition; while later on the planes will be assembled in India and eventually manufactured in India after the company completely puts its supplier chain in place.
“The small and medium aircraft market in India is likely to take off with the soon to be released National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP 2016). The key pillars of NCAP are expected to be regional connectivity and affordability. The AN 148/158 series of aircraft with their rugged design, 75-99 seat capacity and ability to land at short unpaved runways would be well suited for both military and commercial operations in India’s interiors – where the next phase of our aviation growth is likely to come from,” Amber Dubey, partner and India head of aerospace and defence at global consultancy KPMG told FE.
According to data available on the airport authority of India website international and domestic aircraft movements have witnessed an increase of 8.7% and 12.8% respectively resulting into 11.9% increase in total aircraft movements during (April-March) 2015-16.