India’s private sector defence major Larsen and Tourbo (L&T) has set up a missile integration center at Coimbatore. The facility is a joint venture (JV) with European defence major MBDA Missile Systems to tap domestic and export markets.
According to the statement issued by the Company, the L&T-MBDA JV known as LTMMSL has set up the assembly, inert integration (without explosives) and testing facility for Missile Sub-systems and Missile Weapon Launch Systems spread across an area of 16,000 sq. meter in a Special Economic Zone at Coimbatore. It forms a part of the Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor.
“L&T MBDA Missile Systems has been working proactively to offer advanced missiles and missile systems to the Indian Armed Forces through domestic production. The creation of this new integration facility at Coimbatore is a first step in this direction. We are showcasing some of these next-gen offerings at the DEFEXPO20 to be held at Lucknow” said J D Patil, Chairman L&T MBDA Missile Systems.
The Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor was formally launched by the then Defence Minister NirmalaSitharamanin 2019 and became the second such corridor after Uttar Pradesh. The corridor developed over the existing defence ecosystem in the state has six hubs in Trichy, Salem, Hosur, Coimbatore, Madurai and Chennai. Coimbatore was chosen as the defence innovation hub as it already had a thriving ecosystem of large number of micro, medium and small enterprises.
The joint venture was formed in 2017 and it has received a few export orders and the new facility shall start delivering sophisticated weapon systems using state-of-the-art test equipment such as Missile Launchers and Airframe segments, including control actuation units, from 2020.
“The setting up of this new state of the art facility in Coimbatore is an exciting and highly significant milestone for the L&T MBDA Missile Systems joint venture and for the Indian defence industry sector. With the technical and human capabilities offered by this site, India will be ideally placed to offer its armed forces and the export market the very latest generation of defence equipment technology.” said
Pasquale Di Bartolomeo, Vice Chairman and Member of the Board L&T MBDA Missile Systems.
The statement further added that the LTMMSL will build complete Missile Systems for the Indian Armed Forces exploring prospects under the Buy (Indian – IDDM), Buy (Indian), and Buy & Make (Indian) categories for Defence Procurement.
In a pursuit to bag Indian Navy’s Air Defence requirement for Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile System (SRSAM), LTMMSL is offering the Exocet MM 40 Block 3 anti-ship missile.
The JV is also wooing the 5th Generation Anti-tank guided missile (ATGM5) to the Indian Armed Forces with Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) product, involving the transfer of key technologies to India.
Defence arm of L&T owns 51per cent stake in LTMMSL and MBDA owns 49 per cent, thus fully complying with India’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy. European defence manufacturer, MBDA is jointly held by AIRBUS Group (37.5%), BAE SYSTEMS (37.5%), and LEONARDO (25%).