Reliance Infra-led Reliance Defence on Friday signed a strategic partnership agreement with state owned Ukroboronprom of Ukraine, Spetstechno Export and Antonov.
On the occasion the Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani called on Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko. During an 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. This will allow Reliance Defence to collaborate with Antonov for its range of military and commercial transport aircraft.
Reliance Defence is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure.
Under the agreement with Antonov, Reliance and Antonov will jointly bid for the Medium Military Transport Aircraft program of the HAL. In addition to this, the two companies will also 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.
Cooperation between Reliance Defence and Spetstechno Exports will focus on upgrade programs for the BMP 2 and Armored Vehicles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Marine Gas Turbines for the Indian Navy Frigate program in India.
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 crores.
Antonov is credited as the manufacturer of largest transport aircraft in the World. The Indian Air Force currently operates more than 100 AN-32 aircraft, which forms the backbone of its transport fleet.