Thales is looking for cybersecurity solutions for Indian armed forces
The leading French defense company Thales Group plans to focus heavily on meeting the demands of the Indian armed forces for new cybersecurity solutions, artificial intelligence and advanced capabilities in big data analytics.
Thales Group Chairman and CEO Patrice Caine said the company plans to expand its overall presence in India, particularly in areas of emerging technology that will be critical to the armed forces.
The Indian Army, Navy and Indian Air Force have focused on acquiring futuristic technologies such as nanotechnology, quantum computers, artificial intelligence, swarm drones and robotic technologies to address future security challenges.
Caine said the Thales Group aims to expand its overall presence in India in a number of segments, including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and digital solutions.
“We are also considering bringing some essential pieces of equipment and systems to increase our exposure to defense technology sharing with the Indian defense sector in the field of sonar, radar and other platforms,” ââhe said PTI.
However, he refused to share the details. Caine said India’s arms manufacturing sector is moving in the right direction due to a number of government policy initiatives, and Thales wants to be a key partner for the country to become a major manufacturer of military platforms and solutions.
âWe are determined to help India expand its defense production through the Make in India Initiative, either by manufacturing equipment ourselves or with our partners. India has a good pool of talent to develop cybersecurity solutions, AI applications and big data. “Analytics,” he said.
India is expected to spend nearly $ 300 billion on defense procurement over the next five years, and almost all of the major global defense companies have some of that in their sights.
Thales chairman and CEO also noted that the company is seeking joint ventures with a number of Indian companies on a range of products and military solutions but has refused to share details.
He said India is now viewed as a key country in sourcing various raw materials for the company’s global production line and will double sourcing from the country over the next five years.
“India is an important and reliable country in our global supply chain today,” he said.
Thales is one of the French companies that supplied key components for the Rafale jets procured from India.
As part of Thales’ compensation commitments under the Rafale deal, Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) helped manufacture modules for the RBE2 radar.
Thales has been supplying avionics and other equipment to state-owned aerospace giant Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for over four decades and is involved in the supply of equipment for various other major military projects.
Thales has been present in India since 1953 and has offices in New Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai, among others. Over 600 employees work with Thales and its joint ventures in India.
Caine also praised India’s reform measures aimed at boosting arms production.
The government has taken a number of measures in recent years to promote the domestic defense industry.
Last August it was announced that India would stop importing 101 weapons and military platforms such as transport aircraft, light attack helicopters, conventional submarines, cruise missiles and sonar systems by 2024.
A second negative list with import restrictions on 108 military weapons and systems such as next-generation corvettes, airborne early warning systems, tank engines and radars was recently published.
In May last year, the government announced that it would raise the FDI limit from 49 percent to 74 percent under the automatic route in the defense sector.
The government has focused on reducing reliance on imported military platforms and has decided to support domestic arms production.
The Department of Defense has set a target of $ 25 billion (rupees 1.75 billion) in arms manufacturing revenue by 2025, including an export target of $ 5 billion (rupees 35,000 billion) in military hardware.
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