Potential for Collaboration Under Evaluation
Already firmly embedded in India since 1953, with a current commitment to deliver 36 RBE2 AESA radars to the Indian Air Force from 2019 as part of the RAFALE combat aircraft programme, Thales is examining the potential for selling its UAS solutions – for which the unofficial estimate is that India needs at least 200.
The company is already in talks with, “a couple of companies in India, checking what we can do with them,” Thibault Trancart, Vice President Marketing and ISR Strategic Projects, told reporters during briefings earlier this month in Bretigny and Rouen. “We have got BEL-Thales Systems Limited, a joint venture company between Bharat Electronics Limited and Thales, where we are developing a fire control radar for both gun and missile systems…. We are doing some radars locally with some industries and transferring some know how for the benefit of the Indian market.”
Although there are several indigenous developers already in play, Trancart believes the market is in transition and many of them will vanish in the next five years. “There has been a shift in the last seven to eight years. Today, the civilian domain is pulling the military domain. Now, there are many innovations made by the civilian domain, to be used by the military domain,” he told reporters.
Thales will deliver the first batch of SPY’RANGER UAS to France next year. The 14.5kg aircraft, which could meet some of the requirements the Indian Air Force is thought to be developing, has a range of 30km and an endurance in the region of two and a half hours.
Thales India Pvt has a workforce of some 300 and the company has formed joint ventures with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), Samtel, and L&T Technology Services as well as BEL.
CAP: (Photo: Thales Group)