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Thales, Adani position for Indian 70 mm rocket requirements

The Indian Air Force inducted the HAL Light Combat Helicopter into service in October 2022. One of the helicopter's FZ rocket launchers can be seen mounted on its left wing stub. (Janes/Akhil Kadidal)

Thales has entered an agreement with Indian firm Adani Defence and Aerospace to produce in India two of the French group's 70 mm rocket systems: the FZ275 laser-guided rocket (LGR) and the FZ90 unguided Folding Fin Aircraft Rocket (FFAR).

Janes understands that the companies are looking to integrate the rockets onto India's fleets of Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) and Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs). These helicopters, built by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), have already been fitted with Thales' compatible 70 mm FZ rocket launch system.

Should purchase contracts be secured, Adani will act as prime integrator in building the two 70 mm rocket systems in India, a Thales spokesperson told Janes on 3 July. Adani will receive technologies from Thales to undertake this role, facilitating the Indian company's inclusion in Thales' global supply chain, the spokesperson added.

The Thales-Adani memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed in June, is also intended to align with Thales' other industrial agreements in India, including a partnership it announced with Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) in 2023 to also manufacture the FZ275 LGR in India.

“For several years now, Thales has been developing a strong supply chain in India with several strategic partners … that will benefit from this partnership with Adani,” the Thales spokesperson said.

A future deal for Thales to sell the rockets to India would also be aligned with previous contracts through which the French firm supplied the ALHs and LCHs with 70 mm rocket launchers.

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