Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the nation’s largest aerospace and defense company, and India’s Dynamatic Technologies Ltd (DTL) said Wednesday they were joining forces to develop unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the Indian market.

The cooperation agreement, signed at the Aero India exhibition currently underway in Bangalore, covers the production, assembly and support of mini UAVs in India, and calls for the IAI to transfer technology and production capabilities to DTL that will enable the production of local mini UAV systems for Indian end-users.

The locally made UAVs will be part of the Indian government’s “Make in India” initiative, IAI said in a statement, adding that it plans to transfer a big part of its UAV activity to India in the near future. The Make in India initiative was launched by the Indian government in 2014 to encourage multinational and national companies to manufacture their products in India.

The statement said the accord can be “a solid foothold” for a much broader collaboration between the parties in the field of UAVs in India.

A drone manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

Illustration. An Israeli drone manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

IAI said it has been working with the Indian government for 25 years, supplying it with state-of-the-art UAV systems and other technologies in partnership with high-end Indian companies. Dynamatic Technologies designs and builds high-precision systems and subsystems for aerospace, automotive, hydraulics, and homeland security and defense. The firm has design and manufacturing facilities in India, Europe and the US.

The new strategic collaboration will provide both IAI and DTL with the opportunity to offer the Indian Army UAV solutions with local production and support, leveraging DTL’s aerospace production technologies and experience with mini UAVs in India and IAI’s technologies and experience, the statement said. No financial details were disclosed.

“India is one of IAI’s main strategic customers; hence our relationship with Indian users, customers, and companies is critical,” said Shaul Shahar, IAI executive vice president and general manager of IAI’s Military Aircraft Group. “It is, therefore, our intention to transfer a significant part of our UAV activity to India in the near future, in accordance with the ‘Make in India’ policy.”

IAI develops and manufactures advanced, state-of-the-art systems for air, space, sea, land, cyber and homeland security. Since 1953, the company has provided technology solutions to government and commercial customers worldwide including: satellites, missiles, weapon systems and munitions, unmanned and robotic systems, and radars.

“This partnership with IAI has the perfect elements essential to build a UAV enterprise in India, under the Government’s Make In India initiative,” Udayant Malhoutra, CEO and managing director of DTL. “Dynamatic already manufactures major complex assemblies for global OEMs and we have already built a robust supply-chain ecosystem in India. This is the foundation upon which the industrialization of world-class UASs will be developed.” UASs are unmanned aircraft systems.

Separately, IAI said its Golan Industries Division, signed a memorandum of understanding with Taneja Aerospace & Aviation Ltd. (TAAL) of India to cooperate in the development, production, marketing and sale of civil and military aircraft crashworthy-seats.

IAI also signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a joint venture with India’s Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd. (KSSL), the defense arm of Kalyani Group. As part of the accord, IAI and KSSL will together aim to expand their activities in the Indian defense market and to build, market and manufacture air defense systems and ground-to-ground and ground-to-sea munitions.