By Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, VP & Country Director, Thales in India
New Delhi. 05 October 2020. With initiatives and policy decisions on several fronts, India is marching steadfastly towards an era of AtmanirbharBharat. The country has shown will and muscle to become a global manufacturing hub and lead the modernization of the armed forces.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is historically known to providing the country with air superiority and security. Thales is proud of the trust, the Indian Air Force has placed in its advanced technologies ever since it started its India operations in 1953.
Bringing its global expertise in solutions, services and products for aeronautics, defence, space, transport and digital identity and security markets, Thales today has a strong team of over 1800 employees in India. Specifically for the Indian defence and aerospace sectors, Thales’ flagship technologies have been helping the Forces to prepare, achieve and maintain tactical superiority and strategic independence over any form of threat. Over the years, Thales has also built a strong industrial footprint in the country with over 75 supply chain partners, joint ventures with Bharat Electronics Limited, Reliance Aerostructure and Samtel, associations with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, MKU Limited, Kalyani Group, Bharat Dynamics Limited, among others.
On the cusp of a profound change
The “Make in India” vision has set in process a series of structural reforms, from the path breaking Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) of 2016 to the draft Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) of 2020, to achieve indigenisation and self-reliance. The progressive steps to provide priority to indigenously designed and developed defence products mark a shift towards self-reliance in the true essence of a “Atmanirbhar Bharat”.
At a decisive moment like this, Thales remains committed to support the vision of the Indian government. The equipment and services from Thales are second to none. Its active electronic scanning array (AESA) RBE2 radar, Spectra electronic warfare system, optronics, communication navigation and identification system (CNI), the majority of the cockpit display systems and power generation system provide a technological edge to Rafale. It also has a successful reference of the upgradation of the Mirage 2000 fleet together with Dassault Aviation and HAL to its credit. Thales offers a host of systems for India’s armed forces ranging from radars and systems, avionics, Inertial Navigation and Global Positioning System, reconnaissance pods, IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) to unguided rockets for attack helicopters. They play an integral role in serving needs of the company’s customers and preparing for tomorrow, today.
As the drone technology is constantly evolving globally and with its prevalence on the rise, there is always a possibility that these unmanned aircraft could be used for malicious purposes. Thales has solutions that can help civil and military aviation authorities in detection and neutralisation of rogue drones, and to help in maintaining airspace security.
With the future being in digital technologies, Thales identified the trend early and is investing in particular in digital innovations – connectivity, Big Data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity – technologies that support businesses, organisations and governments in their decisive moments. Its engineering competence centre in Delhi NCR is focused on solutions for digital identity and security. The company’s Engineering Competence Centre in Bengaluru is engaged in technologies for aerospace, defence and transportation. Through these centres, Thales seeks to take its legacy of fostering R&D and innovation forward and continually create engineering and non-engineering jobs every year. Thales remains a trusted partner, committed to support the Indian armed forces achieve their goals and provide them with mastery of action whenever they face their decisive moments.
On this note, I wish India a very Happy 88th Indian Air Force Day!