French aerospace and tech giant Thales has completed €500 million worth of local sourcing from India and intends to grow it further to over €1 billion over the next five years, according to Patrice Caine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Thales Group.
“We look at India as a top country; not just as a market but also as an export hub. We have sourced and supplied more and more from India as it has a good ecosystem. We intend to grow it as part of our global supply chain,” Caine said.
The company has formed various co-operative partnerships with public and private sector industries including Samtel, BEL, L&T Technology Services and Reliance Aerostructure Ltd.
Thales also has a joint venture with Reliance Defence Ltd leveraging the offset commitment as part of Rafale deal between India and France.
“The JV with Reliance is up and running. We have integrated radars and other equipment which now help to serve the Rafale commitment.
“The second step is to develop and increase these competencies in terms of support and maintenance from India,” Caine said.
Thales provides a number of modern equipment and systems aboard the Rafale. They include the RBE2 AESA radar, the Spectra electronic warfare system, optronics, the communication navigation and identification system, the majority of the cockpit display systems, power generation systems, and a logistics support component. “We have doubled our turnover from India in the past three years. I see growth potential in defence and aerospace. We also find excellent competencies in India in terms of talent,” Caine said.
The French company has expanded its presence in India through the development of Group Engineering Competence Centre (ECC) aimed at offering high-level expertise in four key digital technologies: the Internet of Things (IoT)/connectivity, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity.
The ECC in Noida is focused on the Digital Identity and Security business of Thales.
The ECC in Bangalore focuses on hardware, software and systems engineering capabilities for aerospace, transportation and defence sectors, serving global needs.
In India, Thales hired over 300 employees in 2020 and plans to hire 300 more in 2021.