India’s MKU Limited and Thales have signed two MoUs for strategic co-operation in the development and production of optronic devices and F90 close quarter battle (CQB) rifle for Indian Army soldiers.
The optronic devices will be co-developed by Thales and MKU and both the optronic devices and F90 rifles will be manufactured in India at MKU’s facilities in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. These products will be offered to the Indian army and homeland security forces under the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government.
On the occasion, Mr. Neeraj Gupta, MD of MKU said, “MKU is pleased to sign the strategic co-operation MoUs with Thales. This partnership will not only focus on meeting the requirements of our forces in India, but will also look at exporting the products to other parts of the world.”
Alex Cresswell, Senior Executive Vice-President for Land & Air Systems at Thales said, “We are very pleased to work in close collaboration with MKU for the development of weapons and optronic devices to address specific needs of the Indian and international markets. This co-development partnership reaffirms our commitment to India and is the result of our ambition to support soldiers on operations.”
The strategic co-operation for optronic devices between Thales and MKU is committed to enhancing the night fighting capabilities of the Indian Army and homeland security forces. It envisages manufacturing of optronics equipment including weapon sights, night vision goggles, handheld thermal imagers and thermal infrared sensor engine for soldier systems, and other image intensification and thermal imaging systems for soldiers and platforms respectively.
For weapons, the two companies plan to cooperate so that MKU could set-up an assembly and manufacturing plant in India for the carbine version of the F90 assault rifle, combat-proven and already in service with Australian Defence Forces. Light, balanced and accurate, the F90CQB (Close Quarter Battle) developed with MKU will be well suited to Indian conditions and requirements.