Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd (IAI) and India's Tata group have inked a framework agreement for cooperation in the development, manufacturing, marketing and support of defence products in India.
IAI president and CEO Itzhak Nissan and Tata group chairperson Ratan N. Tata signed the agreement in Tel Aviv, an IAI statement said Tuesday. This follows a memorandum of agreement that was signed Feb 17 in New Delhi during the Defexpo defence show.
"The cooperation agreement between IAI and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) covers a wide range of defence and aerospace products, including missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), radars, electronic warfare (EW) systems and homeland security (HLS) systems," the statement said.
The two parties will soon sign an agreement for establishing a joint venture company in India that will serve as the main vehicle for establishing indigenous capabilities.
TASL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tata group and focuses on providing integrated solutions for the defence and aerospace sectors.
"This agreement reflects IAI's evolving relationship with India and with the Indian industries. India is a leading market for IAI, and partnerships with Indian industries are part of our long-term strategy," Nissan said.
"The JV will further improve IAI's capability to best serve our Indian customers, and will serve as a platform to develop new business opportunities," he added.
A TASL spokesperson described the agreement as "a significant part of our strategy to build capabilities in the defence sphere".
"We look forward to the JV becoming a leading Indian defence company in the future, supporting the needs of our nation's armed forces and defence laboratories," the spokesperson said.
"It is also gives both companies great pleasure that the establishment of this cooperative relationship coincides with the 60th Anniversary celebrations of the state of Israel," the spokesperson added.
IAI, formerly known as Israel Aircraft Industries, is the largest aerospace and defence company in Israel. It is Israel's largest industrial exporter and a globally recognised leader in the defence and aerospace markets.
It is also a leader in the maintenance and conversion of commercial aircraft, as well as design, development and production of business jets and many other core technologies, products and services.
The Tata group is one of India's largest and most respected business conglomerates, with revenues in 2006-07 of $28.8 billion - 3.2 per cent of the country's GDP - and a market capitalisation of $65 billion. Tata companies together employ over 300,000 people.