Thales, a renowned French defense manufacture and Kanpur-based defense equipment manufacturer MKU Ltd have signed two MoUs for strategic co-operation in the development and production of optronic devices and F90 close quarter battle (CQB) rifles for the use of Indian Army. The products will be manufactured at MKU’s facilities in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. They will be provided to Indian Army as well as paramilitary forces.
According to the vice president of Thalse, Emmanuel De Roquefeuil, he products co-developed by the alliance will enhance night fighting capabilities of the Indian Army and paramilitary forces. Under the alliance, optronics equipment, including weapon sights, night vision goggles, hand-held thermal imagers and thermal infrared sensor engine for soldier systems, and other image intensification and thermal imaging will also be produced for Indian armed forces.
MKU will set up an assembly and manufacturing plant for the carbine version of F90 assault rifle, one of the lightest assault rifles on the market at 3.25 kg, enabling fast reaction times and rapid target acquisition. The combat-proven rifle is currently manufactured in Australia.
The cooperation is considered as a major boost to Make India for defense initiative. The Government of India is focusing on the attaining self-reliance in defense manufacturing and taking several initiatives in the same direction. The theme of recent Defence expo organized in Chennai was also presenting India as future defense manufacturing hub.