Dassault Aviation said it would invest €100 million in its defence joint venture with the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group.
Ambani and Dassault Aviation chairman Eric Trappier on October 27, 2017, laid the foundation stone for the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL) manufacturing facility in the ₹6,500 crore Dhirubhai Ambani Aerospace Park (DAAP), Mihan, near Nagpur, Maharashtra. The plant is expected to start production in 2018.
Reliance Aerostructure will hold a majority 51% in DRAL, while 49% would be held by Dassault Aviation. The facility will manufacture several components of the offset obligation connected to the purchase of 36 Rafale fighters from France, signed between the two governments in September 2016.
DRAL will manufacture components for the Legacy Falcon 2000 Series of civil jets manufactured by Dassault Aviation and will become part of the French major’s global supply chain, said a company statement, adding these first steps were expected to achieve, in the coming years, the possible setting up of the final assembly of Rafale and Falcon Aircraft. The statement added that Dassault’s investment marked the largest commitment to foreign direct investment in one location in the Indian defence sector.
‘Hub for Falcons’
Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani, said, “The Reliance Dassault partnership will bring high levels of technology transfer… and make India a major supplier into the global aviation supply chain.
The production from Mihan will begin in 2018. India will become the global manufacturing hub for Falcon aircraft. Leading French companies will set up base in Mihan. The company has signed performance-based logistics support from the Indian Airforce for the next 35 years.”
Dassault Aviation chairman, Mr. Eric Trappier, said, the kick-off “ gives the 65 year-long association of Dassault-Aviation with India a new momentum.”
Florence Parly, Minister of Armed Forces of France said that India had chosen the best combat aircraft in the world and Dassault would ‘look for the shortest possible delivery time’.