Hyderabad is transforming into a new aerospace and defence industry hub of India. In the latest development, Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems Ltd (KRAS), a 51:49 joint venture between Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd and Rafael Advanced Systems, is planning to set up a second missile production facility in Telangana for which it has sought land from the Telangana government, Kalyani group chairman Baba Kalyani said here on Thursday.
KRAS, which commissioned a Rs 70 crore anti-tank guided missile production facility in Telangana near the international airport at Shamshabad in July 2018, is in talks with the Telangana government for acquiring 100 acres for its second missile facility, Kalyani said while announcing the $100 million order that KRAS has bagged from Israeli defence equipment maker Rafael for supplying 1,000 Barak-8 medium range surface to air missiles (MRSAM) kits to Bharat Dynamic Ltd (BDL) for the Indian army and air force.
“We are looking at the second facility here to create more local manufacturing, indigenization, and integration of defense products. It cannot happen in the place we have now where the cold is being done. We need to have a second unit where hot integration processes can take place, which is why we’re talking to the Telangana government for about 100 acres of land,” Kalyani said, pointing out that every weapon system has a hot portion attached to it.
Kalyani, however, did not divulge the investment made by KRAS so far or the projected investment for the proposed second facility in Telangana.
KRAS is also looking to ramp up its headcount to about 300 technical experts by 2023 from the existing 80-odd and hopes to begin delivery of the Barak missile kits to BDL from the fourth quarter of the current fiscal, said Rajinder Singh Bhatia, president, and CEO of defence & aerospace at Kalyani Group. Indicating that the delivery schedule for the 1,000 Barak missile kits would be spread over four years, Bhatia said KRAS has already notched exports of around $15 million in FY19 and hopes to step this up to $20 million by next fiscal.
Rafael group, which has invested over $250 million in India through various `Make in India’ initiatives over the past two decades, sees the Barak-8 order as just the opening of the door for big contracts to the Indian armed forces and “looks forward to crossing many more milestones with KRAS as well as other partners like BDL within India,” Rafael’s executive vice-president and general manager of air and missile defence systems division Pini Yungman said, adding that all the orders for the Indian armed forces will be delivered by KRAS.