In January 2023, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) and Bharat Forge entered into a partnership to manufacture components for remotely piloted aircraft. The partnership aims to build capabilities for both companies and support the Indian unmanned aircraft industry.

The partnership includes manufacturing main landing gear components, subassemblies, and assemblies. The companies also have a collaboration agreement to develop a lithium-ion battery system for the Indian Navy.

General Atomics is a US-based drone manufacturer, and GA-ASI is a subsidiary of General Atomics. Bharat Forge is a leading Indian forging company.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. and Bharat Forge Ltd have entered into a partnership to manufacture main landing gear components, subassemblies, and assemblies of remotely piloted aircraft reported ET Infra.

The partnership is aimed at significant capability-building for both companies and provide an impetus to the Indian unmanned aircraft industry, General Atomics said in a statement.

“Aerospace is a high ‘Technology Intensive’ domain, which relies on product integrity, reliability, and zero defect. This is a culture by itself and demands a strong focus on people and processes. As part of our aerospace growth strategy, our collaboration with GA-ASI (General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc) is a strong testimony of our culture in Bharat Forge Aerospace to assimilate and demonstrate the same, as partners to General Atomics, in making India Atmanirbhar,” said Baba Kalyani, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Forge Ltd.

Bharat Forge has a state-of-the-art, digitally integrated manufacturing, assembly, and testing facility for aerospace components and systems. It manufactures structures, engine parts and subsystems for aircraft and engines for both civil and military applications.

The partnership may pave the way for assemblies of SeaGuardian drones, a variant of MQ-9 Reaper Predator drones, in India. The Indian Navy currently operates two SeaGuardian drones on lease and according to several reports India is in talks with the US for direct acquisition of such drones.

As per India’s offset policy, foreign companies have to plough back or invest about 30% of the total order value back into India.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems is the subsidiary of San Diego-based General Atomics and is engaged in the manufacturing of unmanned aerial vehicles such as the Predator drones used for high altitude surveillance and precision strikes.

General Atomics also has other projects in India, including:

Developing the next generation of artificial intelligence technologies with 114ai, an Indian artificial intelligence company

Collaborating with Bharat Forge on developing a lithium-ion battery system for the Indian Navy