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Foundation stone of Rs 6,500 cr Dassault-Reliance aerospace facility laid in Nagpur SEZ.

Date: 28-10-2017
Subject: Foundation stone of Rs 6,500 cr Dassault-Reliance aerospace facility laid in Nagpur SEZ
MIHAN (NAGPUR): With India being a key strategic partner for France in Asia and in keeping with their developing defence cooperation, India’s first private facility for production of Rafale fighter jets and Falcon civilian aircraft was established at Mihan, Nagpur, under a joint venture between French aerospace firm, Dassault Aviation, and Indian conglomerate, Reliance Group. 

Under the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in defence in India till date, the foundation stone of the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL) manufacturing facility was laid at Mihan today. This marks the beginning of the creation of the facility to manufacture important components for the 36 Rafale fighter jets which India is procuring from France and establishes the possibility of the final assembly of the entire aircraft. 

Eric Trappier, Chairman of Dassault Aviation and Anil D.Ambani, Chairman of the Reliance Group today laid the foundation stone for the DRAL manufacturing facility. French Defence Minister Florence Parly, Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were present for the occasion. 

The facility is located within the Dhirubhai Ambani Aerospace Park at Mihan. Under joint venture company, DRAL (51% Reliance Aerostructure and 49% Dassault Aviation), “the facility will manufacture several components of the offset obligation connected to the purchase of 36 Rafale Fighters from France, signed between India and France in September 2016,” according to Dassault. 

Last year, India and France concluded a Rs 59,000 crore deal for 36 Rafale jets in a flyaway condition. The deal has a 50% offset clause, amounting to Rs. 30,000 crore which is to be executed by Dassault and its partners in India. Thereafter, Dassault and Reliance Defence announced their joint venture, the facility, for implementing the offsets. The joint venture represents a FDI by Dassault Aviation of over 100 Million 

On being asked how would Reliance Group fund the project, Anil Ambani told reporters, “Funding will be from internal accruals, debt and equity.”

Trappier explained that the work on the 36 Rafales has already begun. The plan is that initially at Mihan the the critical components of the 36 jets will be manufactured and the jets will be assembled in France. In the future, the entire jet will be assembled at Mihan depending on further orders. 

“We will start manufacturing parts of the Rafale in Mihan. The 36 aircraft will not be assembled here. If we have new orders then we will make the entire aircraft here,” said Trappier, adding that new orders for Rafales could be the Indian Navy’s requirement of 57 multi-borne carrier fighter aircraft. 

Anil Ambani added, “All future needs of the Rafale jets, whether its for the navy or Indian Air Force, will be under the Make in India initiative in Mihan. We are best positioned to serve the double engine fighter jet market and we have full technology transfer from France.” 

He also said that there is a tie-up with the IAF for entire performance based logistics of the 36 Rafales at Mihan. 

DRAL will also manufacture components for the Legacy Falcon 2000 Series of civil Jets manufactured by Dassault Aviation. This will ensure that it becomes part of its global supply chain. 

“Production will start by 2018,” said Anil Ambani, adding that over 500 small and medium scale enterprises will be involved in the offsets and exports of of the 36 Rafales contract.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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