French defence engineering major Thales has divulged its intention to bring its advanced technological capabilities to India. The company aims to establish an avionics Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Delhi to deliver top-notch services to its airline clientele. The Thales representative in India informed a news agency on Friday that establishing the avionics MRO facility was a significant initiative and asserted the company’s unwavering commitment to actively bolster India’s indigenous defence manufacturing efforts and assist the ongoing modernisation and indigenisation initiatives in the Indian aerospace and defence domain.
As a vital contributor to the Rafale team led by Dassault Aviation, Thales supplies cutting-edge equipment and systems for the Rafale aircraft. It includes the radar, electronic warfare systems, optronics, communication navigation and identification system (CNI), and a significant portion of the cockpit display systems, among other components. India has already acquired 36 Rafale jets for the Indian Air Force from France and has outlined plans to procure 26 Rafale-M fighters for the Indian Navy.
Detailing the plans for India, Ashish Saraf, Thales India’s Vice President and Country Director, expressed that the company recognizes substantial opportunities for growth. Thales aims to enhance in-country capabilities across key sectors in India, such as defence, aerospace, and digital identity and security. This strategic perspective has prompted the company to accelerate its efforts and undertake various initiatives to augment its local presence. One of these initiatives is opening up the second state-of-the-art facility in Bengaluru besides ramping up its engineering centres and teams in Noida. The Bengaluru facility is an extension of its engineering centre that works on complex avionics systems, in-flight entertainment, cockpit connectivity, video systems and radar software, among others, he disclosed.
The two strategic partners have expressed commitment to cooperate in the co-development and co-production of advanced defence technologies, including for the benefit of third countries. As a French multinational with a robust legacy established in defence and various sectors in India over the past seven decades, the company hopes that the rapidly evolving India-France partnership will offer both nations various collaborative domains such as defence and security, space and cyberspace, among others, which in turn will generate more business.
The French aerospace major has been engaged with the Indian military for over the past seven decades.