HYDERABAD: European defence and technology major Thales and missile systems manufacturing public enterprise Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) on Tuesday signed an MoU to assess opportunity for transfer of technology of the STARStreak missiles, an official said.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in presence of the UK government representatives, which has extended its support to this venture, at the Aero India 2017 here.
Alex Cresswell, Executive Vice President for Land and Air Systems at Thales, said: “We are proud to join hands with Bharat Dynamics Ltd for the strategic transfer of technology of our flagship STARStreak missile from the UK. Also, we are thankful to the government of the UK for their strong support to this initiative.”
“Sharing technology has been one of the key ingredients of Thales’ strategy for India. We would continue to work in this direction and realise our objective to make in India and export from India through such endeavours,” he added.
V Udaya Bhaskar, the BDL Chairman and Managing Director, said: “BDL is very much pleased to partner with Thales for obtaining transfer of technology for STARStreak missiles. BDL is strongly looking forward to business opportunities outside India to supply the latest defence equipment.”
“Through this MoU, Thales and BDL seek to jointly offer a ‘Make in India’ solution to help service growing international demand for this product,” an official statement said.
The STARStreak missile operates at a speed in excess of Mach 3 to defeat fast-moving threats and it can be used in a Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPADS) role. It has the capability to defeat any air target, even armoured helicopters, as the last line of defence.
Thales equipment will constitute 25 per cent of the value of the $8.9-billion deal for 36 Rafale combat jets that India and France signed last year. The company is also involved in the more than Rs 10,000 crore-worth Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 upgrade programme.
Thales has been operational in India since 1953 and has over 300 employees working with its wholly-owned Indian subsidiary, Thales India Pvt Ltd, based in New Delhi. With 62,000 employees in 56 countries, Thales reported sales of euro 14 billion in 2015.