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Reliance Defence one of only 2 firms able to supply warships: Chairman


Mumbai: Reliance Defence is one of the only two companies which qualified for an order from the Defence Ministry for six submarines worth more than Rs 60,000 crore, as part of India’s submarines programme, parent firm Reliance Infrastructure said on Tuesday.

“We are one among two companies that can be part of warships and submarine projects. The submarine program entails an order for 6 submarines for a value of over Rs 60,000 crore,” Chairman Anil Ambani told shareholders at the AGM of Reliance Infrastructure here.

“With this, we will be able to transfer Pipavav Defence into a world-class naval facility,” he said.

“We acquired control of Pipavav Defence, now Reliance Defence, which will be the centre of excellence for naval opportunities,” he added.

Earlier this year, Reliance Infrastructure took over the management and control of Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering Co., now renamed Reliance Defence and Engineering.

Reliance Defence is looking at an integrated play in the defence sector across all three defence verticals, Ambani said, adding “the sector is new and it is taking baby steps in moving forward”.

The company has signed two joint ventures with two Israeli companies – Rafael to make missiles for the Indian armed forces, and Elbit to focus on homeland and border security, Ambani said.

“If we had a world-class border management infrastructure, we could have avoided at one level at least an attack on Pathankot and on another level, an attack on Uri,” he added.

Reliance Infrastructure has also signed MoUs with companies from Germany, France, and Russia which involve the transfer of technology, training employees and infusion of capital, the chairman said.

“So the capital is the least constraint in the defence sector. It is not as capital intensive as most people think. It is a medium to light capital-intensive business,” he said.

Besides, the company is in the process of signing a contract estimated to cost Rs 1,000 crore with the Indian Coast Guard, he added.

On the firm’s metro business, Ambani said the company is looking at similar projects in other cities.

“There is no reason for us not to expand Metro services to other cities. RInfra is looking to venture into large number of Metro systems in Nagpur, Cochin, Lucknow, among others,” he said.

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