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Reliance Defence secures 16 new manufacturing licences

Livemint:  May 06, 2016

Mumbai: Reliance Defence Ltd, a unit of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (R-Infra), on Thursday said it has received 16 new licences for manufacturing defence equipment from small arms to missiles.

Of these, 11 pertain to land systems, three for naval systems and the remaining two for niche technologies. Adding on the 11 licences it received in February, the Anil Ambani-led company now has a total of 27 defence manufacturing licences.

The new licences permit the company to build small arms, heavy weapons, armoured vehicles, ammunition, explosives, electronic warfare systems, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and directed energy weapon systems, laser systems for target destruction and C4I Systems for all defence platforms, the company said in a statement.

“We now have all licences excluding submarines,” a senior Reliance Defence executive said requesting anonymity, adding group company Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd has a licence for shipbuilding.

Land systems include heavy weapons of all calibres, electronic warfare systems, ammunition, explosives, tanks, infantry combat vehicles, directed energy weapon systems, small arms laser systems for target destruction and C4I Systems for various land platforms.

Reliance Land Systems Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Defence will be the lead venture for the manufacturing of missiles, heavy weapons and tanks, among others, the executive said.

Reliance Defence said the key programs in these segments have a budgetary allocation in excess of Rs50,000 crore while the Indian Army will spend an additional Rs.50,000 crore over next 10 to 15 years on different combat vehicles.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has already given go ahead for air defence missile systems worth Rs.40,000 crore, air defence guns valued at Rs.17,000 crore and mounted gun systems worth Rs.15,800 crore.

The R-Infra board had said in November that new high-growth opportunities in the defence sector, arising from the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, serve vital national priorities and have several attractive features.

Recently, the government increased the initial validity of a licence for the defence sector to seven years from three years, further extendable up to three years, in view of the long gestation period of defence contracts.

Reliance Group companies have sued HT Media Ltd, Mint’s publisher, and nine others in the Bombay high court over a 2 October 2014 front-page story that they have disputed. HT Media is contesting the case.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.