Reliance Defence and ANTONOV to manufacture transport aircraft
Mumbai, Mar 31 (IBNS) Reliance Defence Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. (an infrastructure arm of the Reliance Group), announced on Thursday that it will be collaborating with Ukraine-based State Corporation ANTONOV to design and manufacture dual version transport aircraft for military, para military and commercial use in India.
The company said that an agreement was reached on the sidelines of the Defence Expo at Goa between Anil Ambani, Chairman of the Reliance Group and Oleg Gladkovskyi, Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine and the Chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee of Ukraine for Military Technical Cooperation and Export Control Policy .
Reliance Defence together with State Corporation ANTONOV will jointly address various requirements, including 50-80 seat passenger aircraft in its basic configuration and in all its variants such as transport, maritime patrol and other military roles.
ANTONOV or 'An' class of aircraft is being used by the Indian Air Force and Navy for over five decades.
Currently, the IAF has more than 100 An-32 aircraft on its inventory, which, having completed its last life cycle upgrade will be due for replacements.
The partnership agreement is expected to provide the benefits of quality and low cost solution for 50-80 seater aircraft through its core competencies, said Reliance Defence.
Reliance Defence and Antonov will jointly design fixed wing military aircraft configured for use in tactical as well strategic roles, said the company.
Powered by two turbofan high fuel efficienct jet engines, the medium lift aircraft is capable of short field runways operating from remote airfields with unpaved surfaces.
The company also highlighted that in the Indian civil aviation market, this medium category aircraft could effectively plug the gap in regional air transport connectivity to around 350 unused airstrips currently available across the country and is in consonance with the new draft Civil Aviation policy by MoCA.
Low level tactical missions by this aircraft is aided by modern day avionics and navigation systems powered by fly-by-wire systems in all weather round the clock operations. India has requirement of over 200 medium lift turbofan aircraft, which is the backbone of all tactical Logistic Transport Support Role (TSR) as well as Route Transport Roles (RTR) of the Air Force, Army and para military forces.
The joint venture by Reliance Defence and ANTONOV envisages design and manufacture of the medium lift dual use turbofan aircraft in India with transfer of niche technologies. This will be located at India’s first integrated Aerospace Park at Mihan, Nagpur. The program valued at over INR Rs.35,000 crore is estimated to generate employment for over 7,000 people in the primary and secondary industrial sectors in the region.
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