Aiming to become a leading defense systems integrator in India, Mahindra & Mahindra has partnered with Israel’s defense company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, to establish a Joint Venture (JV) company to develop and manufacture products such as Anti Torpedo Defense Systems, Electronic Warfare Systems, Advanced Armoring Solutions and remotely operated weapon stations for Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICV).

Rafael offers a line of torpedo countermeasures, designed to protect surface vessels and submarines, using reactive, active and 'hard kill' systems such as the Torbuster. Photo: RAFAEL or active and from active

The company has approached the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for the creation of the JV company, where Indian ownership 74 percent will be maintained. Rafael will make investments in Mahindra’s existing Naval Systems division in Pune which will also be the location of a production facility which will be set up to meet the long-term requirements of the JV company.

Brig (Retd) KA Hai, Chief Executive, Mahindra Defence Systems, said “This JV will enable Mahindra Defence Systems to further leverage its innovative solutions in the maritime domain, enhance its product offerings, and present it with new avenues for growth. We intend to further expand into air, land, and aerospace defence solutions.”

Maj Gen (Retd) Ilan Biran, Chairman of Rafael added: “As part of our global strategy, we form alliances to develop military applications based on our proprietary technologies and in Mahindra we see a lot of synergy and opportunities for growth in new markets and especially in India which is a strategic market for us.”

Rafael has an ongoing dialog with Bharat Electronics Limited, one of India’s largest public sector defense companies, about setting up a joint venture related to electro-optics and missile electronics.

The two partners have been looking for a private company to join the team for sometime, to enable the future JV to be incorporated as a private sector company. The new JV with Mahindra could pave the way for this long awaited ‘BEL-RAFAEL’ marriage.

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