Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), India's leading manufacturer of defence electronic products and systems, and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Israel's leading aerospace and defence company, have concluded the MoA to form a joint venture that aims at a single point of contact for extending long-term product support services for India's Defence Forces.
The announcement was made by the Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, at Aero India 2023, the biennial air show and aviation exhibition being held at Yelahanka Air Force Station, Bengaluru.
The partnership is another significant step in cementing the relationship between the two companies that have a long history of association. BEL and IAI are engaged in several joint programmes for the Indian Defence Forces. The new joint venture is being established for providing life cycle support for MRSAM air-defence systems in the country. The new venture will have its headquarters in New Delhi and provide the required technical and maintenance support to the Armed Forces.
MRSAM is an advanced path-breaking air and missile defence system that provides protection against a variety of aerial platforms. It is used by the Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Indian Navy and Israeli Defence Forces. The system includes an Advanced Phased Array Radar, command and control shelter, mobile launchers and interceptors with an advanced RF seeker. MRSAM is jointly developed by IAI and DRDO in collaboration with India and Israel for India’s Defence Forces.
Through this Joint Venture, IAI reiterates its support to the Indian Government’s vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India). It also goes a long way in demonstrating the company’s commitment to the strong partnership with DRDO in developing and supporting advanced systems for the Indian Armed Forces. This co-operation will leverage the synergetic capabilities of both IAI and BEL.
Ajay Bhat, Minister of State for Defence, said: “Israel is a very important strategic partner of India and the successful development and deployment of MRSAM System for the Indian Defence Forces is a shining example of the successful joint colaboration between the two countries. This Joint Venture between two prestigeous companies of India and Israel will certainly play a very important role as a single point of contact in delivering product support services for MRSAM Systems. It will be a driving force for the Make in India policy.”
Bhanu Prakash Srivastava, CMD, BEL, said: “BEL considers IAI, Israel, as a very important strategic partner. This Joint Venture between the two companies is expected to play a pivotal role in ensuring timely Product Support services for MRSAM Systems and enable substantial indigenous workshare with active participation of the Indian supply chain.”
Boaz Levy, IAI's President and CEO, had said earlier: "Our joint venture with BEL will leverage the best technology, innovation and talent to provide services matching the needs of our customers in India. It follows our announcement in 2022 about the opening of Aerospace Services India (ASI), an IAI subsidiary in New Delhi, both of which illustrate our support of the Government’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative and investment in India.”