Hyderabad to be Tata’s defence, aerospace hub

Hyderabad to be Tata’s defence, aerospace hub

Hyderabad: The Tata group has decided to make Hyderabad a hub for its defence and aerospace investments, chairman Ratan Tata said.

Tata was in Hyderabad on Sunday to unveil the first helicopter cabin made in India by Tata Advanced Systems Ltd for US-based Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., the world’s biggest maker of helicopters. The cabin will be used in Sikorsky’s S-92 model helicopter.

Sikorsky is part of United Technologies Corp., a group that also produces aircraft engines, elevators and fire and security equipment.

Tata Advanced Systems, a unit of Tata Sons Ltd, invested nearly 1,000 crore to set up the helicopter cabin manufacturing facility at an aerospace and precision engineering special economic zone at Adibatla on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

Defence and strategic sectors are likely to emerge as larger new areas for the Tata group as the private sector enters these sectors, Tata said. “The Tata group has decided that all its aerospace and defence—the new area of Tata group—investments will be centred at Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh," he added. He did not elaborate on the planned investments.

Tata had earlier entered into a joint venture agreement with the Italian defence and aerospace manufacturer AgustaWestland to assemble AW119 helicopters at Hyderabad.

Nova Integrated Systems Ltd, a venture of Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd (IAI), a developer of military and commercial aerospace technology, and Tata Advanced Systems had approached Andhra Pradesh government in June, showing interest in setting up a defence equipment manufacturing facility.

The venture plans to develop, manufacture and support a wide range of defence and aerospace products, including missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare and homeland security systems. IAI had announced plans to invest $50 million in Nova to own 26% of the venture, while Tatas would own 74%.

Sam Bob, principal secretary in Andhra Pradesh chief minister’s office, said the group was keen on Hyderabad for defence and aerospace equipment activities since the city provides an ecosystem for the sector. Several defence equipment and component manufacturers are active around the city.