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Tata Steel ropes in Sure Safety Solutions for Odisha's defence plant.


Date: 23-10-2015
Subject: Tata Steel ropes in Sure Safety Solutions for Odisha's defence plant
BHUBANESWAR: Tata Steel has roped in Sure Safety Solutions (SSS), a Mumbai-based defence and surveillance technology products maker, to set up an assembly line of aerial targets for armed forces next to its Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Gopalpur, a coastal town in Odisha, two people familiar with the development told ET.

Sure Safety Solutions has a teaming agreement with the UK-based aerospace and defence major Meggitt PLC, a world leader in unmanned vehicle systems including free flying aerial targets used for testing missiles.

SSS is expected to invest Rs 60-80 crore in the assembly plant to be built under the 'Make in India' scheme, industry insiders said. The plant will come up next to the Gopalpur SEZ of Tata Steel, which is helping the state attract investments in the area.

A government official in the know said a formal announcement of the plant is expected next week. While the initial project is an assembly line for aerial targets, the plant will also be used to service Meggitt's Rs 100-crore plus order from the Indian Navy for aerial targets.

Arun Misra, Tata Steel VP and Gopalpur project in charge, was not available for comment. Founded by Arun Bhalotia and Ravi Agarwal in 2004, SSS works in the area of field of security and surveillance, defence simulators, and aerial and surface targets and UAVs.

It had supplied aerial targets for the testing of the indigenous surface-to-air Akash missile at the integrated test range (ITR) in Chandipur, Odisha.

Industry sources said SSS is expecting to land its largest defence order soon and Gopalpur is considered an ideal location to execute this.

"It is the proximity — a 250-km distance to such Air Force and naval institutions like the Chandipur test range and the Army Air Defence College at Gopalpur itself — that makes Gopalpur an ideal location," a company official said on condition of anonymity.

SSS, which also has offices in Berhampur and Bhubaneswar, sees a possibility of building Quad Rotor UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle) used for surveillance and reconnaissance at this site in the future.

Odisha recently registered 1,235 acres, or half of the total Gopalpur site in advanced possession of Tata steel, in favour of Tata Steel (Gopalpur) SEZ, where the company is setting up a ferrochrome plant. The Centre's notification is awaited now.

While the state's new special economic zone (SEZ) policy allows the anchor investor to sub-let land, the SSS plant will come up outside of the SEZ area.

Having seen some high profile investments such as Posco and Arcelor's steel plants come unstuck, Odisha is looking to move beyond mineral-based industries. Priorities of its new industrial policy match those identified by Tata Steel for Gopalpur — electronics and engineering, defence and downstream of steel and aluminium.

Source : economictimes.indiatimes.com

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