Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cassidian Electronics sees strategic role for India in its defense and security products

Neelam Mathews
March 12, 2011
Time Released: 1:17 AM IST

The first product emanating from the joint venture signed between Larsen & Toubro and Cassidian Electronics (74%-26% stake) will roll out in the third quarter of 2011, Bernd Wenzler, CEO Cassidian Electronics says.

The JV will be active in electronic warfare, airborne technologies, avionics, radars and mobile systems. The agreement is (mutually) exclusive to the two companies in the defense electronics domain.

“We will transfer technology which we are allowed to transfer, first, to our engineering center in Bangalore and then to L&T for products (customized) for the Indian market. We will also look at selling them to the global market place.” Wenzler estimates the business just for India's domestic needs will be worth around $500million in ten years.

The JV company is based in Talegaon, near Pune. Trust in the private partner is apparent. “We feel IPR issues are easy to deal with if we have a partner we can trust,” adds Wenzler.

L&T has expertise in defense electronics, and has established a strong position in design, development, manufacture and integration of military grade electronic hardware and systems on turnkey basis including electronic packages for multi-axis motion control systems and embedded controllers for weapon launch platforms.

Using its core technologies and developing portfolio, security is an area the company is planning to enter soon in India with its new ‘Security Radars’ program, SPEXER 2000. “We would like to see that for India,” Wenzler says.

Security radars allow Cassidian to utilize its sensor competence gained in the military sector for a wide range of applications in the security field. These include conventional border and military camp security as well as protection of critical infrastructure.

“Security electronics is the growth market for us…We have already adapted our processes to match security customers’ shorter innovation cycles and changed requirements, meaning we can exploit the opportunities in this new market segment right away. In this process, we particularly benefit from our extensive experience in the field of military radars,” he said.

“Another reason we want to establish ourselves in India is with the (country) a leader in IT and (we see) in the next few years, no counter-measure part will be without an Indian participation and input,” he adds confidently.

Wenzler tells Aerospace Diary emphatically: “We do not look at India as a low cost market. You have highly skilled people and high quality infrastructure like L&T.”

Cassidian Electronics has moved swiftly in India. It has fully transferred technology for helicopter mission sensors to Alpha and is looking at modernizing of existing equipment. It has also started discussions with the Russians to certify avionics equipment for integration on platforms like Sukhoi-30 MKIs and helicopters.

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