Engineering and construction giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T) on Tuesday announced a joint venture with EADS Defence & Security (EADS-DS), a sister company of EADS, the European group that makes Airbus jets, in the field of high-technology military applications. EADS is a rival of US-based Boeing.
The yet-to-be-named joint venture will aim at design, development, manufacturing and related services in the fields of electronic warfare, radar, military avionics and mobile systems such as modular bridges for military applications. L&T plans to invest Rs 1,500-2,000 crore ($300-$400 million) on defence-related businesses over the next three years.
“If everything goes right, we will create three operating companies to look after defence, aerospace and nuclear power sectors for effective operations. This may happen in 2012-13," L&T Chairman and Managing Director A.M. Naik said.
“The cooperation with L&T is an important milestone on the way to increase our industrial footprint in India,” said Stefan Zoller, CEO of EADS Defence & Security.
The government is said to be mulling a Raksha Udyog Ratna (RUR) status for private partnerships in defence.
L&T has joined a long line of recent joint ventures in military manufacture. The Tata Group has entered into an agreement with Boeing, while the Mahindras have a venture with BAE Systems.