French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation and Reliance Infrastructure promoted Reliance Aerospace, on Friday, laid the foundation stone for the Rs 6,500 crore Dhirubai Ambani Aerospace Park (DAAP) in Nagpur.
French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation and Reliance Infrastructure-promoted Reliance Aerospace, on Friday, laid the foundation stone for an aircraft component manufacturing facility at the Rs 6,500 crore Dhirubai Ambani Aerospace Park (DAAP) in Nagpur. Dassault Aviation is investing 100 million euros into the venture. The joint venture – Dassault Reliance Aerospace (DRAL) – was set up in February this year as part of Dassault’s offset obligations for the Rs 58,000 crore deal to supply 36 Rafale fighter jets to India. The offset obligation is worth about Rs 30,000 crore, the largest ever offset contract in the country’s history. Spread over 289 acres at MIHAN special economic zone in Nagpur, DAAP is envisaged to be the largest greenfield aerospace project in the country. DRAL will be the leading entity to execute the Rafale offset programme from this facility with the combat aircraft featuring a number of India-specific modifications when ready. The park will be developed in two phases with the first phase covering 104 acres. Anil Ambani, chairman, Reliance Group, said that production is expected to start from here in 2018. The remaining area will be developed in the second phase.
Ambani also said DRAL will build a manufacturing unit for the production of aircraft, electronic warfare systems, radar, unmanned aerial vehicles, and establish an ecosystem of ancillary units and suppliers to support the project. For the global market, DRAL will manufacture components for the Legacy Falcon 2000 series of civil jets manufactured by Dassault Aviation, integrating itself into the French manufacturer’s supply chain. Ambani said the facility would also do the final assembly of the Rafale jets as well as the Falcon series of business jets at a later date. He added that MIHAN would also be a base for a performance based logistics contract with the IAF for the Rafale aircraft, spread over 35 years.
Eric Trappier, chairman, Dassault Aviation said the JV is keen to address the needs of the Indian Navy as well as the Indian air force with the Rafale jets. He added that French small and medium enterprises would also establish base at MIHAN to support the project. Over the next few years, Trappier said he expects India to be a global manufacturing hub for the Falcon aircraft. The entire aircraft will be made in MIHAN over a period of time, he concluded.