Press Release - Finmeccanica
From 15 to 18 February, Finmeccanica takes part – through its companies AgustaWestland, Alenia Aeronautica, DRS Technologies, SELEX Communications, SELEX Galileo, Oto Melara and WASS – in DEFEXPO 2010, presenting products, platforms and technological solutions in the field of helicopters, aeronautic, communications and radar systems, naval and land armaments and underwater systems.
Finmeccanica’s presence in India goes back more than 40 years: over the years it has been developing solid industrial partnership in the defence and security sectors thanks to partnerships in several successful programmes. For Finmeccanica, India is a partner and country of strategic importance with a large and sustainable defence market growth rate and volume that offers significant opportunities in all business sectors.
Finmeccanica is present in India through its liaison office, which is responsible for monitoring the developing need of India in the defence and security sectors. Finmeccanica and the Group companies aim to strengthen their presence in India, and above all, create new and consolidate existing industrial partnerships with key local companies to respond to the country’s challenges and global ambitions – not only in these areas but also in other sectors in which the Group operates (e.g. space, transport and energy). Finmeccanica is currently working on a number of specific project with BHEL, BDL, BEL and HAL.
In the helicopter sector, AgustaWestland has been present in India since 1970. Today the Indian Navy operates a fleet of AgustaWestland Sea King helicopters and a growing number of AgustaWestland commercial helicopters are now performing corporate, VIP and offshore transport missions in India. The commercial helicopters market in India is expanding rapidly and a large military helicopter acquisition programme is underway. AgustaWestland has strong interests in the country both in terms of potential developments in the civil market and the tender under way to supply VVIP helicopters to the armed forces. In February 2009, AgustaWestland signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian group Tata Sons to create a joint venture for the development of a final assembly line for the AW119 helicopter in India. AgustaWestland has a complete range of military helicopters that can meet the Indian Ministry of Defence’s helicopter requirements. These requirements include 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters for the Air Force and Army, helicopters for the Coast Guard, multi-role naval helicopters for the Navy and light combat helicopters for the Air Force. In addition AgustaWestland is ideally placed to participate in the mid-life upgrade of the fleet of Sea King helicopters used by the Indian Navy.
The aeronautics sector also offers good prospects for Alenia Aeronautica that is currently keeping a close eye on the requirements expressed by the Indian Air Force and the Border Security Force for a tactical transport aircraft. The C-27J, made by Alenia Aeronautica, best seller of its category, is capable of performing many missions such as transport of troops, goods and medicines, MEDEVAC, airdrop operations, paratroopers’ launches, search and rescue (SAR), logistical re-supply, humanitarian assistance, fire fighting and missions in support of homeland security. A model of the C-27J will be on display at the Finmeccanica stand. Alenia Aeronautica has also a strong interest in the requirements expressed by the Indian Navy for a new medium-range aircraft for maritime patrol, for which the company proposes the ATR72 MP. Alenia Aeronautica has achieved a notable success with the regional aircraft made by ATR (equal joint venture between Alenia Aeronautica and EADS): around 100 of these aircraft are in service with the major national airlines of the region. Alenia Aeronautica participates, through the Eurofighter consortium, in the MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) programme for the supply of 126 combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force in which the Eurofighter
Typhoon is competing, with EADS Germany leading the campaign.
SELEX Communications has a presence going back 20 years in India, where it supplies avionic, tactical and naval communications systems, either directly or in collaboration with leading local companies HAL and BEL. In the near future, SELEX Communications, could provide its expertise in protected military communication systems and next-generation systems. Finmeccanica is also involved in some of the major programmes under way in India relating to tactical communications and the telecommunications component of Battle Management systems. Besides SELEX Communications expertise in this area, DRS Technologies, the US company recently acquired by Finmeccanica and a leading supplier of integrated products and support services in defence electronics, offers the Indian market ultra-rugged solutions for data presentation and calculation that can operate extremely efficiently even in critical operational theatres.
SELEX Galileo is also present in India, where it supplies the 2080C Precision Approach Radar system to India’s Navy and Air Force. At DEFEXPO, the company will be promoting its new model, PAR 2090 CM/CF a ground controlled Precision Approach Radar. Last year, SELEX Galileo signed a Memorandum of Understanding with BEL to explore business opportunities in the electronic warfare arena for the Indian market. SELEX Galileo is currently pursuing opportunities connected with the need to modernise existing platforms with next-generation sensor systems. For airborne surveillance, SELEX Galileo offers highly-successful solutions such as the Seaspray AESA radar and the ATOS mission management system, leveraging on recent market successes. In last ten years, ATOS has been sold in more than 40 systems. Airborne self-protection and situation awareness systems already in use by customers throughout the world are proposed both for rotary and fixed wing platforms. Further, in the battlespace and land domain, SELEX Galileo can deliver full situation awareness capability, together with control systems (Fire Control Systems) for Armoured Vehicles programmes and for the dismounted soldiers. Following the award to SELEX Galileo of the service contract for the Mirach 100/5 target drone system with ITR (Integrated Test Range), the company is now poised to sell complete best selling target drone system. In India, the company is working with Defence Research & Development agencies to jointly develop new products both for the Indian Armed Forces and the wider export market.
India – which boasts a long tradition in the naval sector – also has ambitious projects for the Navy that could involve Finmeccanica Group companies. In the underwater systems business, WASS has operated in India since 1976 along with BDL (Bharat Dynamics Limited) and other local companies. Further opportunities for collaboration in this area could arise from the Indian government's naval programmes with regard to the potential upgrade of the already delivered light weight torpedoes in advanced model and the Black Shark heavy torpedo.
In the defence systems area, Oto Melara is already the market leader in India with the medium-calibre 76/62 Super Rapid naval gun, produced under licence by BHEL, and is promoting its 127/64 Light Weight Guns with the Vulcan long-range munitions. Local partnership opportunities exist for the manufacture of 12.7mm and 30mm land turrets, which can be retro fitted onto vehicles already in service.
CIO (an equal share company between Oto Melara and IVECO) is proposing the Indian Mechanised Forces light tanks and armoured vehicles including Centauro, a field proven platform deployed within the Italian Army in many out of area operations.
Elettronica, a Finmeccanica affiliate company and one of Europe's leading manufacturer of Electronic Defence equipment, is also attending Defexpo. In recent years, the company has teamed up in joint ventures with international industrial partners all over the world to develop new products and technologies for different and specific markets. Apart from a mature relationship of technical cooperation with Bangalore-based DARE, other recent collaboration initiatives have been launched with Alpha Design Technologies, creating a JVC called AEDS in Bangalore.
SELEX Sistemi Integrati, a Finmeccanica company, has been present in India in defence electronics since 1972. Since 2003, it has been collaborating with BEL (Bharat Electronics Limited) to supply the country with radar systems for air traffic control. The company is currently involved in promoting integrated combat systems for the Indian Navy’s new naval units, C3I and C4I systems based on network-centric architecture and naval radar systems for coastal and land applications. India’s increasing focus on homeland security opens up attractive prospects for the company, which can offer complete systems for the protection of national borders and the security of roads, ports, airports, railway stations and critical infrastructure. SELEX Sistemi Integrati manufactures large Homeland Security systems, combining the expertise and capabilities of the Group’s companies in a unique network-centric operating environment. In the field of Homeland Security, Elsag Datamat, a Finmeccanica Company, offers also licence plate reading systems, biometric sensors, mobile check points and other technology for police forces.
Other synergies could arise in the public transport sector (train and metro), in both platforms and signalling, security and telecommunications systems, as well as in new traffic management systems for the country’s major cities. Ansaldo STS is the leading supplier of processor based interlocking (PBI) to Indian Railways and has more than 90 percent of this market. From its offices in Bangalore, Noida and Kolkata, Ansaldo STS will continue to serve Indian Railways as it plans for safety enhancements, capacity utilisation and the introduction of new technologies in metro, open line and High Speed railways.
Finmeccanica is also present in India through its shared services company Finmeccanica Group Services (FGS), which has the objective of helping the Group to identify and follow up the opportunities offered by the Indian supply market. By analysing the market and selecting competitive and reliable local partners, FGS works to support the Group in commercial partnerships and in its sourcing activities.
Thanks to the several campaigns under way in India, the space sector represents a new area for joint activities. Finmeccanica companies could exploit concrete opportunities in the satellite services and payload business, given the ever-increasing demand from the Indian Armed Forces for services relating to military applications for new satellites and those already in orbit.
Additionally, the energy market, which is traditionally very solid, presents significant opportunities in the building of new power stations for both traditional and alternative sources of energy.