The company has interests in defence and space, and works on products ranging from drones to helicopters and simulators

by Manu Pubby

NEW DELHI: The Adani Group plans to bolster its defence business with the purchase of a Bangalore-based company that has a strong order book and partnerships with key manufacturers in Russia and Israel that are India’s top suppliers of weapons. This will be the group’s biggest acquisition in the sector.

Sources told ET that the Adani Group is set to pick up a significant stake in Alpha Design Technologies Pvt, with an initial investment of more than Rs 400 crore that will be scaled up over the coming months. The company has interests in defence and space, and works on products ranging from drones to helicopters and simulators. It’s a major supplier for the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program as well.

Three persons confirmed the acquisition, which they said is likely to coincide with the unveiling on Friday of Adani Elbit Defence Systems’ facility in Hyderabad that will make Hermes 900 drones, initially for the export market, in collaboration with Israel’s Elbit Systems.

The acquisition is significant as it will give Adanis exposure to the export market as well as technical expertise to handle large military programmes under the Centre’s strategic partnerships scheme. ET has learnt that it is among bidders for the first programme to manufacture naval utility helicopters under the scheme. Teams from the navy are said to have inspected its facilities.

Entry Into The Big League 

Adani Group and Alpha Design did not respond to queries. The acquisition will take Adani Defence and Aerospace into the big league alongside groups such as TATA, Mahindra, Reliance Defence and Larsen & Toubro that are vying for mega Make in India projects under the strategic partnerships scheme. Four projects have been initially identified under the programme — a new fighter jet, naval helicopters, a new diesel electric submarine and a future main battle tank.

As reported by ET, the Bangalore-based firm recently pitched for an ongoing Rs 2,100-crore contract to upgrade a fleet of KA 28 anti-submarine warfare helicopters, proposing to the Navy that it can carry out the work in partnership with the Adani Group.