In 2022, the indigenously built LCH Prachand were inducted into the Air Force

In a major boost to self-reliance in defence manufacturing, Adani Defence & Aerospace has collaborated with Thales Group, to build 70 mm rockets for India's attack helicopters.

Thales is a world leader in manufacturing 70mm rocket. They can be used against soft and light armoured vehicles, air defence facilities, radar sites and communication installations with laser-guided precision.

Adani Defence has partnered with Thales, Belgium to establish the manufacturing, assembly and testing in India under Buy Indian category of Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020. An exclusive partnership for India, it will also provide avenues for exports based on the competitiveness of the supply chain in India, sources said.

India operates the HAL Rudra - attack variant of the Dhruv chopper, Light Combat Helicopter Prachand, the Apache AH-64 and the Mi-35 choppers in its attack fleet.

In 2022, the indigenously built LCH Prachand were inducted into the Air Force. Prachand can perform a range of roles including combat search and rescue (CSAR), destruction of enemy air defence (DEAD) and counter-insurgency (CI) operations.

The helicopter can also be deployed in high-altitude bunker-busting operations, counter-insurgency operations in the jungles and urban environments, as well as for supporting ground forces.

The recent global events have reinforced the focus on short range air-to-air and air-to-ground from rotary wing platforms across terrain and frontiers. The fulfilment of this capability is critical for the Indian Armed Forces, sources said.

The 70mm unguided rockets from Thales have been successfully integrated and deployed in the current fleet of ALH and Light Combat Helicopters. These rockets have been combat proven across the world and Indian Armed forces have been supplied with sizeable quantum of same under global buy in the past. The requirement of 70mm rockets, similar to ammunition, is recurring and will be the main stay of India's combat capabilities for rotary wing assets. These rockets shall be integrated in ALH DHRUV (WSI) and LCH class of helicopters as well, they added.

The 70 mm unguided rockets are based on launchers each fitted on either side of the helicopter and deploying a total of seven, 12 and 19 tube configurations ready-to-fire rockets. The next generation guided rockets are also part of the collaboration and will support in strengthening the Indian defence ecosystem, sources said.

Earlier this month, Adani Defence and Aerospace signed a landmark agreement with EDGE Group - one of the world's leading advanced technology and defence groups in the UAE.

The agreement aims to establish a global platform leveraging the defence and aerospace capabilities of both companies to bring together their respective product portfolios and cater to the requirements of global and local customers.

The agreement will explore the establishment of R&D facilities in India and the UAE and the setting up of development, production, and maintenance facilities of defence and aerospace solutions to not just serve the two captive markets but also Southeast Asian and wider global markets.

Economic Impact And Employment

The collaboration with Thales is expected to generate numerous employment opportunities, contributing to the growth of India’s defence manufacturing sector. By reducing dependency on imports and fostering technological advancements, this partnership will bolster India's defence infrastructure and support economic development.

Strategic Significance

The partnership is a key milestone in India's journey towards self-reliance in defence production. Adani Defence & Aerospace’s commitment to designing, developing, and manufacturing state-of-the-art defence products is complemented by Thales Group's technological innovation. "We congratulate the Adani Group on this partnership. Together, we seek to contribute to the further growth and success of India's defence sector," stated Thales Group.

(With Agency Inputs)