VP S&M – India, Thales
New Delhi: Since 1953, Thales has been apartner to India’s development.The company has been actively contributingto the developmentof the defence, aerospace and ground transportation industries in the country.
Over the years, Thales has been supporting therequirements of the Indian armed forces with its flagship solutions. Some of these have been for combat aircraft, air defence systems, ground, ship-borne and airborne sensors, tactical communication and military avionics, among others.
Some highlights from 2016
One of the 2016 highlights for Thales was the selection of the Rafale omnirole aircraft to meet India’s air combat requirements. The Indian Air Force’s Rafales will carry onboard a number of state-of-the-art equipment and systems from Thales. These include the provision of RBE2 AESA radar, the Spectra electronic warfare system, optronics, the communication navigation and identification system (CNI), the majority of the cockpit display systems, power generation systems and a logistics support component. Rafale’s new export success demonstrates Thales’ ability, alongside Dassault Aviation and its partners, to constantly meet the customer’s highest expectations through innovation, mastery of advanced technology and industrial excellence.
Another milestone for Thales was the award of a contract from BELTECH to provide CATHERINE thermal imaging cameras for T-90 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) of the Indian Army in May 2016. In accordance with the contract, Thales is doing a transfer of production to integrate 260 compact LWIR thermal imaging (TI) CATHERINE cameras into BELTECH’s TI Sights that will be installed on the T-90 battle tanks of the Indian Army. The CATHERINE thermal imager is already in service with the Indian Army and this new order consolidates Thales’ leadership in optronics technologies in India.
The Mirage 2000 upgrade programme is another example of Thales’s commitment to the modernization of India’s armed forces. Thales and Dassault Aviation have been working on the upgrade of the Indian Air Force’s Mirage 2000 fleet since 2011. Four upgraded Mirage 2000 aircraft have been delivered to the Indian Air Force. The rest of the fleet is being upgraded under the responsibility of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with the support of Dassault Aviation and Thales teams as per the contract.
Collaborating with local industry
Thales has been working hand in hand with the Indian industry, sharing technology and expertise. Its association with HAL is over 50 years now. The company also has a strong relationship with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) with which it has also formed a JV - BEL-Thales Systems Limited (BTSL). In March 2016, Thales and BTSL signed a partnership agreement for the joint development of the PHAROS fire control radar that will cater to both domestic Indian and international market requirements. In addition to this, Thales’s JVs with Samtel for military avionics and airborne sensor systems, and with L&T Technology Services for avionics software are a testament to the company’s commitment to the country. Thales has also been co-operating with the Indian private sector, particularly large corporate players, SMEs and MSMEs, to build transfer of technology and supply chain partnerships.
As a global defence leader, Thales invests in the future through extensive R&D initiatives. In line with this approach, in September 2016 Thales and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a jointly supervised PhD fellowship scheme. Thales has formed similar partnerships with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in October 2015 and January 2016, respectively.
India is a key country for Thales. The company remains committed to the country by further developing its local presence and collaborations to serve Indian as well as international markets.
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