India’s Adani Group to manufacture small arms and UAV through the joint venture with Israeli IWI and Elbit Systems

Key Points:

  • Adani Elbit UAV Complex would be the first private UAV manufacturing facility in India and the first facility outside Israel to manufacture the Hermes 900 UAV.
  • Adani Elbit will offer the Hermes 900 UAV for the Indian Tri-Services an advanced, battle-proven, cost effective MALE UAV for usage across all terrain.
  • Adani will produce small arms licensed from Israeli Weapons Industries

Diversified conglomerate Adani Group’s flagship firm Adani Enterprises Ltd will make unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, in joint venture with Israeli firm Elbit Systems.

The joint venture company named Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India Ltd (AEASIL) will be headquartered in Ahmedabad. AEL and Elbit Systems Ltd will have equity in the ratio of 51:49 in the company. The joint venture is yet to commence business operations, a company statement informed.

Adani Elbit Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Complex (UAV), was inaugurated today by Hon’ble Home Minister of Telangana, Shri Mohammad Mahmood Ali in presence of Shri Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary – IT & Industries, State of Telangana, Mr. Pranav Adani, Director, Adani Enterprise Limited, Mr. Karan Adani, CEO, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone and Mr. Bezhalel Machlis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Elbit Systems.

  • Hermes 900 (MALE)

The 50,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility would be the first UAV manufacturing facility in India and the first outside Israel to manufacture the Hermes 900 Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV. The factory shall start operations with the manufacturing of complete carbon composite aero-structures for Hermes 900, followed by Hermes 450, catering to the global markets and will be further ramped up for the assembly and integration of complete UAVs.

The company, formed on November 7 2019, will mark the Adani Group’s foray into the defence and aerospace manufacturing sector. The group has interests in ports, energy, mining and trading.

The cost of acquisition of shares was around Rs 51,000 by way of 5,100 equity shares issued for Rs 10 each, representing 51 per cent stake for the Adanis, AEL said in a stock exchange filing.

Earlier this year in March, Adani Group had announced a tie-up with defence electronics player Alpha Design Technologies to work on UAVs through the group’s wholly-owned subsidiary Adani Aero Defence.

The Adani Group has entered the small arms business with the acquisition of a facility in Gwalior that will produce machine guns, carbines and other weapons for the local and export markets.

The Gwalior acquisition – through a joint venture in which Israeli manufacturer IWI holds a 49% stake – will help the group acquire capabilities ranging from UAVs to helicopter systems to major aero structures.

Sources said the entity is poised to pick up major orders from the defence ministry, with final discussions underway for 16,400 light machine guns for which IWI is the lead contender. The acquisition under the fast-track procedure is likely to be taken up by the Defence Acquisition Committee later this month while a larger competition for 41,000 guns is also underway. Besides, paramilitary forces and state police, too, have requirements for these small arms.

The Gwalior facility was inaugurated in March 2017 and was the first Indian private sector company that started manufacturing small arms and ammunition.

The facility is designed to manufacture a range of weapons including the Tavor Assault Rifle (already in use by special forces), the X 95 Assault rifle, Galil sniper rifles, Negev LMGs and Uzi sub machine guns. The first set of Indian manufacture X 95 rifles were rolled out by the facility in October 2018.

As reported by ET, the Adani group has strong plans for its defence business, starting with the acquisition of Bangalore-based Alpha Design Technologies and setting up of a new manufacturing facility in Hyderabad to make Hermes 900 drones in collaboration with Israel’s Elbit Systems.

The company has already been shortlisted as a potential strategic partner for the Naval Utility Helicopter (NUH) contract and is also making a bid for the multibillion dollar project to build next generation conventional submarines in India under the P 75 (I) project.

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