Indian, Russian firm plan JV for defence avionics

By N.C. Bipindra, IANS,

Bangalore : Given the huge potential in military avionics, Indian aerospace firm Axis Aerospace and Technologies (AAT) and Russian defence exporter FGUP Rosoboronexport Monday announced they have signed an agreement to start a joint venture focusing on avionics for IAF’s front line Sukhoi SU-30 and MiG-29 fighter jets, as also military helicopters.

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Apart from these Russian-origin platforms, the JV will also work on the new fighter jet from the Mikoyan stable, the MiG-35, which is one of the contenders in India’s $10.4-billion tender for 126 combat aircraft.

“The JV will focus on creation of cutting-edge technology for aerospace and defence applications in addition to design, production and integration of avionics systems,” the two companies said, but did not give the funding details of the project.

The venture would address areas such as development of MIPS technology for use in avionics. This would be a major leap towards achieving self-reliance in processor technology for Indian industry.

Axis Aerospace would build on the Russian efforts in this field to create MIPS (million instructions per seconds)-based avionics, communication systems and software-defined radio (SDR). The JV would seamlessly fuse the building blocks of this technology held by both companies to design and produce SDRs, the future of all communication systems.

“The JV will undertake manufacture of avionics equipment for MiG-35, Su-30, MiG-29 (fighter jets), Mi-17, Mi-28, and Kamov-28 (helicopters) enabling better offset discharge by Russian original equipment manufacturers, apart from design and development of new generation test solutions for maintenance of avionics equipment,” city-based AAT’s CEO Ravi Narayanan said here.

The venture would also take part in establishing a service centre in India for maintenance and repair of avionics equipment of Russian origin, apart from integration of the same on aircraft and helicopters of both Russian and non-Russian design, he added.

“This JV, once it is formed, will be the perfect vehicle to support indigenous efforts to develop, support and upgrade avionics and other types of equipment for Russian-origin defence product, which would continue to be the dominant factor in Indian defense for the years to come. Also this would marry Russian domain expertise, OEM knowledge along with cutting edge technology build to suit Indian requirements,” Narayanan said.

Rosoboronexport said the creation of such JV would make it possible to extend participation of the Russian companies in Indian defense programmes including advanced projects in the future.