NEW DELHI — India’s $2.5 billion private sector giant Kalyani Group on Thursday launched the country’s first-ever private missile subsystems manufacturing facility in partnership with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems of Israel.

The new entity, called Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems, will undertake the production and assembly of Spike anti-tank guided missiles and its related technologies such as missile electronics, command, control and guidance, electro-optics, remote weapon systems, precision-guided munitions, and system engineering in the new 24,000-square-foot facility in Hyderabad, southern India.

”In line with the [Indian] government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, the joint venture will invest in high-end technology and advanced manufacturing techniques to design, develop and manufacture state-of-the-art weapon systems for the Indian armed forces,” Kalyani Group said in a statement. ”This green fieled joint venture envisages creation of significant direct and indirect employment opportunities, import substitution and foreign direct investments into the country.”

Kalyani Group will have 51 percent equity holding in the joint venture company, while the remaining 49 percent will be held by Rafael.

This is India’s largest-ever foreign direct investment joint venture firm.

“This joint venture company will undertake assembly and testing of medium-range Spike ATGM main nonexplosive subsystems including guidance unit, command launch unit, thermal sights and its electro-optics systems,” Kalyani Group Chairman Baba Kalyani said.

The joint venture company also aims to export Spike ATGM family and SPICE precision-guided munitions to Southeast Asian counties in the future, the chairman noted.

Retired Maj. Gen. Yoav Har-Even, the president and CEO of Rafael, said: ”The establishment of this facility is a sign of our commitment to ‘walk the talk’ in terms of partnering with Indian industry towards indigenous manufacture.”

The joint venture firm is also establishing a robust supply chain in India to undertake spares and other parts requirements of missiles to be manufactured in the country, Har-Even added.

India’s Ministry of Defence is expected to award a $1 billion contact to Rafael for the procurement of 321 ATGM launchers, 8,356 Spike missiles, 15 training simulators and associated accessories for the Indian Army.

Kalyani Group is the main offset partner for Spike missiles in regard to the production of components and subassemblies for the anti-tank guided missile.

This program also has an option to build another 1,500 launcher systems and about 30,000 additional missiles in the future, one MoD official said.

Kalyani Group has also set up dedicated manufacturing facilities for artillery guns, armored vehicles, protected vehicles and ammunition at various locations in India.

Vivek Raghuvanshi is the India correspondent for Defense News.

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