Reliance Defence has signed strategic partnership agreement with three Ukranian state- owned companies which will allow them to collaborate on a range of military products including transport aircraft, upgrade of armoured vehicles, maritime gas turbines and unmanned aerial vehicles.
The development follows a meeting between Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani and Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine this week.
During the hour long meeting, the two leaders discussed issues of strategic interest between the Indian and Ukrainian defence and aerospace industry.
“As a follow up of the meeting, a Strategic Partnership Agreement was signed between State Owned Ukroboronprom of Ukraine and Reliance Defence, which will allow it to collaborate with Antonov for its range of military and commercial transport aircraft,” a statement by Reliance said.
Reliance Defence Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd.
Under the agreement with Antonov, both companies will jointly bid for the medium military transport aircraft programme of the HAL, it said.
In addition to this, they will collaborate for assembly, manufacture and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of Antonov series of aircraft to address the requirements of the Indian market and also the agreed global markets.
It is understood that HAL is looking at a market size of up to 300 aircraft in the medium range.
This will be potentially the largest collaborative effort involving the public sector, private sector and global OEM as part of the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiatives of the government with value of programmes exceeding Rs 50,000 crore.
The Indian Air Force currently operates more than 100 AN-32 aircraft, which forms the backbone of its transport fleet.
Cooperation between Reliance Defence and Spetstechno Exports will focus on upgrade programmes for the BMP 2 and armored vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles and marine gas turbines for the Indian Navy’s frigate programme in India.
The government has already issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the upgradation of 1,500 BMP 2.