Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS), a joint venture between Pune-based Kalyani Strategic Systems and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, will develop new generation missiles initially for the Indian armed forces and later for exports.
KRAS will manufacture Spike, the anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), at their state-of-the-art factory, which was opened in Hyderabad on Thursday. In line with the government’s “Make in India” initiative, KRAS till today has invested Rs 70 crore in high-end technology and advanced manufacturing techniques to design, develop and manufacture state-of-the-art weapon systems for the Indian armed forces.
The 24,000 sq ft facility, India’s first private sector missiles manufacturing unit, plans to start production within a few weeks. “The joint venture will roll out from the factory advanced weapon systems within a few weeks for the Indian armed forces,” Baba N Kalyani, chairman at Pune-headquartered Kalyani Group, the $2.5 billion conglomerate, told Financial Chronicle.
The facility will later target to export the products to other countries, subject to approval from the Government of India, he added.
Rafael, which was chosen as partner for supplying the missiles to the Army, is waiting for the final approval from the Indian armed forces to start production.
“The order is somewhere closer to a billion dollars over a couple of years,” Kalyani informed.
He said KRAS had till date invested over Rs 70 crore and would be adding a similar additional amount once orders start pouring in.
Yoav Har-Even, president and CEO at Rafael, said the total investment in the joint venture would be $70 million, covering various products.
Described as the largest yet FDI in defence, Kalyani holds 51 per cent in the JV while Rafael holds 49 per cent.
Yoav said KRAS also plans to produce air-to-surface missiles. He said the production of weapons will be done at the request of the Indian armed forces.
Though Rafael will transfer the technology for missile manufacturing, it will be an Indian Spike missile from the Indian missile house with over 90 per cent localisation. Kalyani said it is “not a screwdriver assembly but a real manufacturing facility.” The company has also developed sub-contractors and supply systems in and around Hyderabad.
“We are hoping that we will have more business because we are looking at other products like glider bombs, which are attached to aircrafts and are used by the Air Force,” said Kalyani.
The 250-pound bomb could prove far more cost-effective and cause more damage to enemy installations than a full-scale air-to-ground missile, Kalyani added.