Sunday, February 17, 2008

Tata Group to bid for $1bn Indian Army deal

Tata Advanced Systems has unveiled plans to form a partnership with the European defence and aerospace consortium EADS to bid for the Indian Army’s $1 billion advanced tactical communications system project.

The project is expected to be announced later this year.

Tata Advanced Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Industries, along with Tata Consultancy Services and Tata Power, is joining forces with EADS Defence & Security (EADS DS), a global defence Lead Systems Integrator, Raytheon and Precision Electronics.

The proposed $1 billion Indian Army tactical communications system is intended to replace its current AREN system using the latest and most sophisticated technologies making it a fully mobile communication system.

The new system would put the Indian Army at par with the most sophisticated tactical mobile systems currently being developed for deployment around the globe.

Ratan N Tata, chairman, Tata Group, said: "The Tatas recognise the significance of this project of national importance and therefore with a view to leveraging the capabilities of several Tata companies, we propose to implement the project through a new umbrella company - Tata Advanced Systems Limited. We believe that the above approach will synergise the group's relevant capabilities for the project and provide a single interface for the Indian Army."

Stefan Zoller, CEO, EADS Defence and Security, said: "EADS Defence & Security and Tata can design and deliver one of the most sophisticated battlefield communications systems in the world, and at the same time, will make a significant contribution to India’s high tech economy."

In another development, Tata Advanced Systems announced that it is jointly exploring opportunities with Urban Aeronautics from Israel for marketing and manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles based on UrbanAero’s patented Fancraft technology for the Indian market.

A Tata Advanced Systems spokesperson said: "Tata Advanced Systems is pleased to be associated with Urban Aeronautics, which is developing innovative unmanned vehicles based on its patented Fancraft technology. We believe these unmanned vehicles can have multiple applications for defence and civilian applications in India."