Its order-book for BrahMos missiles overbrimming, the Hyderabad-based Indo-Russian venture had opened its second unit BrahMos Aerospace (Trivandrum).
Union defence minister AK Antony on Monday formally took over an ailing state PSU Kerala Hitech Industries (Keltec) from Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan for setting up BrahMos AeroSpace (Trivandrum). Russian and Indian officials will supervise the training of the new recruits.
The new management will start functioning in the unit from January 1, 2008. "It's a new year gift for Kerala, " Antony, who had been thrice Chief Minister of the State said.
Keltec, essentially a fabrication unit, had been working on high-precision fabrication jobs for space equipment, said GM Nair, managing director of the former Keltec.
Till the staff in the newly acquired unit is trained in the requirements of making components for BrahMos Missiles, the unit will contitue to execute orders for the ISRO centres in Kerala capital.
DRDO has earmarked Rs 150 crore this year for setting up machinery to support backward integration jobs for ISRO. The Rs 75-crore missile integration unit will be ready next to Keltec premises by 2010.
"Given the neighbourhood clustering of the new BrahMos Facility, Air India's upcoming maintainence station and the growing demand from ISRO units, it is likely that South Kerala will soon emerge a major aerospace hub," Siva Thanu Pillai told FE. It was because of the magnetic equator passing through this area that Thiruvananthapuram had been earlier picked up as a space research centre.
"The hypersonic BrahMos missile-2, to be readied in 4-5 years, will create need for further expansion of facilities," Pillai, better known as `India's Missile Man' said.
World's fastest missile, BrahMos cruise missile, is a sought-after product in export market. Pillai, however, declined to divulge the list of potential importers, commenting the buyers will be jointly identified by India and Russia.