French defence major Safran Group on Wednesday opened a unit and began operations here, in a development that is expected to invigorate the state’s efforts to become the nation’s hub in the aerospace sector. Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev inaugurated the test center for aerospace and defence products near Technopark on Wednesday.
Safran provides satellite communication and tracking services, along with manufacturing critical machinery for fighter aircraft, rockets, and missiles.
In a Facebook post, Rajeev said Safran plans to turn its first unit in Kerala into a space test center in the Asia Pacific region in the near future. He said the company has also expressed interest in starting an assembling/manufacturing unit for Safran Space Products in Kerala.
The minister said that Safran also aims to produce 50 percent of the products required by India’s space agency ISRO, adding that it will strengthen Kerala’s efforts to become the nation’s hub in the aerospace sector.
In July last year, the company announced the setting up of a production facility in Hyderabad to produce parts and components for advanced aircraft engines with an investment of Euro 36 million, besides a big-ticket joint venture with state-run aerospace behemoth HAL in Bangalore.
After a meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Safran CEO Olivier Andries, it was also announced that the joint venture in Bangalore would produce helicopter engines. At the same time, the French company will also set up an MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) facility for Indian and foreign commercial aircraft.