Aequs eyes new defence agreements

BENGALURU, JUNE 11,

Aequs, an aerospace parts and machining company, which has a 250-acre manufacturing SEZ in Karnataka, says its upcoming Goa facility will make new products and parts for the country’s military projects.

The company rejigged its business in April to add defence and space as new focus areas. A special team will tap domestic opportunities in these areas after non-aerospace activities got separated. The Goa team would anchor the new initiative, Aequs Chairman and CEO Aravind Melligeri said.

The Tuem facility in Goa would manufacture a few critical products for the first time in India for projects of the Air Force and the Army. The firmsigned an agreement to set up the Goa facility in February at a cost of ₹500 crore. It is spread over a 30-to-50-acre campus.

“The defence products initiative will be prominently driven through joint ventures with overseas partners. It will bring higher-end activities and products into the country. We have at least two such ventures in the works,” he said.

Without specifying the products, Mr. Melligeri said Aequs’s overseas entities make aircraft landing gear, engine components and actuators that control aircraft. “We don’t have this capability in India and will see how to bring it in.”

The Belagavi-based firm significantly contributes to the Rafale fighter aircraft of French company Dassault Aviation, although the components are sourced from its overseas facility. It makes a business of about $600,000 per Rafale aircraft, Mr. Melligeri said.

The arrangement would now extend to the 36 Rafale fighters ordered for the IAF directly from Dassault. The Centre is expected to order another batch of the fighters. He said Aequs expects its aerospace business of $100 million in FY 2017 to grow to $300 million in 2020. “We see more opportunities emerging in domestic defence, in military helicopters” to be produced for the IAF.

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