India’s state-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) has joined with Thales of France to make high-tech radars for military and civilian use.
“Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on November 17, 2009, Public Sector Company, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Thales are delighted to announce that the Boards of both companies have approved the formation of a Joint Venture Company (JVC) subject to statutory approvals of the Government of India and the French Government,” said a statement from Thales.
The joint venture will design, develop and market the radars. BEL would hold a 74 % equity stake in the joint venture, putting in around $10 million, while Thales would take the remaining 26%.
A BEL official said the radars would be the first to be produced in India, but declined to give details.
In addition to defense, there is demand for coastal radars for the Indian Coast Guard as India plans to install high-tech surveillance gear along its borders.
The joint venture might also manufacture equipment for use by France’s Dassault, in case the Rafale fighter is selected in India’s $12 billion Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft program.