BEL, French company in JV for radar development

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State owned Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and French defence equipment company Thales on Wednesday announced the formation of a joint venture company in India to design, develop, market, supply and support civilian and select defence radars for Indian and global markets, says a report.

The boards of both companies have approved the formation of a new joint venture company, subject to statutory approvals from the Indian and French governments, according to a statement by BEL. The two companies signed an MoU to this effect in November 2009, and the boards of both companies have now approved the formation of a JV, states the report.

Thales will hold 26 per cent equity, the maximum holding interest allowed to a foreign company in the defence sector, while Bengaluru headquartered BEL will hold 74 per cent of the stock.The parent companies aim at making the joint venture company a centre of excellence with the ability to offer solutions specifically aimed at meeting the needs of both Indian and export customers,” the statement said.

Thales has had a significant presence in India, and is a major supplier
to Dassault’s Rafale, which has been shortlisted for the Indian Air
Force’s US$ 11 billion medium multi-role combat Aircraft (MMRCA).

Separately, the French defence major is also involved in the Indian Air
Force’s US$ 2 billion Mirage-2000 fighter upgrade programme.

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