Saab plans venture with HAL for weapons suite production

February 9th, 2011 - 1:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Feb 9 (IANS) Swedish defence firm Saab Wednesday said it was planning to set up a joint venture with Indian defence public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to manufacture electronic weapons suite for choppers and fighter aircraft.Saab India country head Inderjit Sial said the tie-up with HAL for the weapons suite would initially be for military helicopters and potentially for fighter jets too.

At present, the weapons suite is being used by Malaysia on their Su-3MKK air superiority fighter planes.

The IDAS Active Protection Suite will be manufactured in collaboration with HAL for a global market.

“Both the Saab and HAL boards have in principle approved the joint venture. Further progress is needed to firm up the joint venture,” Sial said.

The weapons protection suite would be fitted on all helicopters, including those of Russian-origin, in IAF service in the near future, he added.

Saab is also establishing a research and development centre in the city soon.

“With the establishment of this R&D centre, Saab will create a sustainable and long-term relationship to be able to co-develop critical technologies with India. This centre is a part of Saab’s future offer for the world market,” Sial said.

The aim of the R&D centre was to continuously transfer to India already identified concrete programmes and technologies, he said.

“The (R&D) centre will form a bridge between India and Sweden, and together with an initial base of 100 to 300 skilled Indian engineers form the backbone of the centre,” Saab president and chief executive officer Hakan Bushke said.

“The centre will stimulate innovation all around India,” he added.

The areas of focus would cover aerospace, defence and urban innovation, including civil security.

The centre will be established in close co-operation with Indian partners and universities and create new innovations, new technology and exporting opportunities for Indian governmental, academic and industry entities.

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