Reliance to make hi-tech weapons at Pithampur SEZ

  • Manoj Ahuja, Hindustan Times, Indore
  • Updated: May 02, 2016 20:03 IST
The state government has earmarked 300 acres land for Reliance’s defence park in Pithampur SEZ. (HT file)

Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) plans to manufacture hi-tech electronic warfare systems as well as heavy weapons at its upcoming defence park in Pithampur special economic zone (SEZ), about 30 km from Indore in Dhar district.

Reliance Defence Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, which is part of the ADAG, applied to the Union ministry of commerce and industry for grant of industrial licences to manufacture a range of defence products in Pithampur.

The Board of Approval for SEZ gave its in-principle approval to the project, subject to certain terms and conditions, at a meeting held in New Delhi on Thursday, sources said.

According to the details mentioned in the application, Reliance Defence Ltd has proposed to manufacture hi-tech equipment, including directed energy weapon, laser for target destruction, high velocity kinetic energy weapon system, and particle beam system for destruction of target.

The firm has proposed to manufacture electronic equipment used for electronic counter measure (ECM) and electronic counter-countermeasure (ECCM), besides heavy weapons (artillery guns, AD guns, mortars, rocket launchers), remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs) and unmanned lighter than air vehicles.

The state government has earmarked 300 acres land for Reliance’s defence park in Pithampur SEZ, but the company will need additional land after forming a joint venture (JV) company with Rafael Advanced Defence Systems. “We are in the process of identifying additional land in Pithampur for Reliance,” a state industry department official told HT.

While the state government had cleared the proposal in January, the project got a fillip earlier this month when Reliance signed an agreement with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence Systems for manufacturing air-to-air missiles and other systems in Pithampur.

“The state’s defence product investment promotion policy and investor-friendly climate have attracted investments by the Reliance group, and we are hopeful of more big investments in the defence sector,” state principal secretary (commerce and industry) Mohammed Suleman said.

Under this policy, the government will provide subsidy for creating infrastructure besides offering a special package to those units making an investment of Rs 500 crore and more.

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