HYDERABAD: Encouraged by the success of its earlier ventures in Hyderabad, Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS), a joint venture between the Kalyani Group and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, is set to expand its R&D footprint in the city by opening a R&D centre for optoelectronics this year.

“We haven’t restricted ourselves to remain a production or system integration house… we have a R&D centre here and with the help of RICH, TASK, we have opened a Centre for Excellence for radio frequency engineering …and this year, we are opening a new R&D centre for optoelectronics,” Rudra Jadeja, CEO, KRAS, said while participating in the CII Make in Telangana’s session on ‘Defence & Aerospace: Towards Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self Reliant India)’ on Thursday.

Apart from the CoE, KRAS has a missile subsystem manufacturing facility as well as a maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) facility for missile systems in Hyderabad. While he did not specify the details, he said KRAS has reached out to the government to allot additional land.

The missile subsystem manufacturing unit was set up on Hyderabad's outskirts at an investment of around Rs 70 crore (around $10 million) and was inaugurated in August 2017.

During the launch of the plant in Hyderabad, Baba Kalyani, chairman of the Kalyani Group, had said that Hyderabad is the epicentre of the missile ecosystem in the country. “Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) is the largest missile manufacturer in the city… all the technological development related to missiles happens here. It is easier to get skilled people in this area and easy to get suppliers and supply chains in this area,” Kalyani had said.