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Dassault, Reliance Aerospace break ground on Indian plant
Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited. © Dassault

Dassault, Reliance Aerospace break ground on Indian plant

Dassault and its Indian partner Reliance Aerospace have held the groundbreaking ceremony for their new production facility in Maharashtra, to be operated by the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL) joint venture.

Dassault and its Indian partner Reliance Aerospace have held the groundbreaking ceremony for their new production facility in Nagpur in India’s western state of Maharashtra. The facility will be operated by the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL) joint venture, which is 51% owned by Reliance Infrastructure.

French armed forces minister Florence Parly attended the ceremony, along with Eric Trappier, Chairman of Dassault Aviation, Anil D. Ambani, Chairman of the Reliance Group, and other Indian officials.

The facility, part of the Dhirubhai Ambani Technology Park, is located in the Mihan special economic zone (SEZ) close to Nagpur International Airport. It will manufacture several components under offset obligations in connection with India's purchase of 36 Rafale fighters in September 2016.

The Rafale purchase agreement included a 50% offset obligation — the largest ever offset contract in India.

DRAL will also manufacture components for Falcon 2000 bizjets, becoming part of Dassault's Global Supply Chain. In future years, the companies say this could eventually lead to the creation of Rafale and Falcon final assembly lines.

The JV represents an unprecedented Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by Dassault Aviation of over €100m, the largest Defence FDI in a single location in India.

The DRAL facility will train thousands of skilled workers in aviation assembly and integration, creating significant employment in Nagpur and its surrounding areas. It will also attract an organic ecosystem of over 200 micro, small and medium-size enterprises to meet manufacturing needs for Rafale and Falcon parts and components.

The creation of the DRAL joint venture was announced in October 2016.

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