Bengaluru, Feb 12: Bell Helicopter has lined up a fine array of its latest military and commercial rotorcraft offerings during the upcoming Aero India 2015. The much-talked about unarmed Bell 407GX will be on the static display during show hours.
Bell Helicopter and Textron Systems recently announced an agreement establishing Dynamatic Technologies Limited of Bangalore as a single source supplier of major airframe assemblies for the Bell 407GX and 407GT over the next seven years.
"Both companies remain engaged in identifying additional business opportunities to further build on Dynamatic's premier supplier capabilities as Bell Helicopter looks to invest and expand operations and product offerings in India," a Bell official said.
Commenting on its the gen-next Bell 407GT tactical light commercial helicopter, Bell officials said that it is an ideal aircraft for armed reconnaissance surveillance, bringing together the Garmin G1000H flight deck with precision weapons capability.
"The aircraft offers a highly flexible and configurable modern weapons system to meet various mission and operational needs with the capacity to carry personnel inside a closed cabin," an official said.
MBDA hopeful of revival of SRSAM project
The MBDA France officials are hoping that the Indian government will take a fresh look at the Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) project. During a recent select-media briefing ahead of Aero India 2015, the MBDA officials said that the MBDA partnership will be a major boost to Indian defence industry sector and the government's Make in India strategy.
The officials say that India can expect a great degree of transfer of technology from the French government, at a level never before provided, anywhere else in the world. "MBDA will provide the necessary expertise such as high fidelity models so that automated production lines can be set up in India for missile, seeker and subassembly production. India will have full autonomy for future missile development and production," an MBDA official said.
He said the first deliveries to the Indian armed forces will begin within three years after the project takes off.
"We are working with on 5th generation ATGM (anti-tank guided missile) for France with an expected delivery in 2017. Last year MBDA had proposed to India the prospect of jointly developing a fifth generation ATGM aimed at India's own specific requirements, offering full transfer of the de-risked technology currently being worked on for the French Army," the top MBDA official said.
He said DRDO to be the design authority supported by MBDA in the development of a family of identical caliber missiles with ranges and platforms to be determined by India (ranges from 2.5 km to 10 km, platforms to include helicopters, armoured vehicles, tripods.)
However, a top DRDO official in the Missile Complex told OneIndia that the fate of the SR-SAM project is not known to them as well. "It's a government decision and as far as we know the project has been shelved," an official said.
More FDI must flow in defence sector: Tatas
The Tata Group of companies pitched hard to propel Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ‘Make in India' dream a reality through increased flow of investments into the domestic defence sector.
Mukund Rajan, a key face in the group told media ahead of Aero India 2015 the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into domestic defence sector has been very meagre in the last 15 years. "It is startling how little FDI has come into India in the past 15 years. A mere $4.94 million has come as FDI in the defence and aerospace sector in India since 2000," Rajan said.
The Tata group has already made inroads in some of the critical aerospace and defence programmes in the country. He said the group's current order book position aerospace and defence sector is Rs 10,000 crore-plus.
As reported by OneIndia earlier, the company is the lone bidder for the Avro replacement programme, which is now stuck at the Defence Acquisition Council level. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) had launched an open campaign against the government decision to keep them out of the fray.
The tender had sought foreign OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to identify an Indian partner other than HAL, to supply 16 aircraft from their original facilities and provide ToT (Transfer of Technology) for manufacturing the remaining 40 aircraft by the Indian partner.
As per the tender, foreign OEM would remain as the main contractor and the Indian partner would only remain as a vendor. The Tata-Airbus consortium (Airbus Defence & Space and Tata Advanced Systems) has offered the Airbus C-295 as a replacement to the Avros. The project is worth Rs 13,000 crore.