Alpha Design has plans to build three hi-tech simulators for the Indian Air Force (IAF) to train its pilots to fly fighters and helicopters.
The contract is being awarded to the electronic devices manufacturer to build, operate and manage the simulators on its air bases at Adhampur near Jallandhar in Punjab, Sarsawa near Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Bagdogra near Darjeeling in West Bengal, Alpha Chairman and Managing Director Colonel H.S. Shankar (retd) said. The firm will operate the simulators for 20 years from mid-2017 and train IAF pilots to fly the Russian-made MiG-29 and MI-17 helicopters, which are stationed at the respective air bases, various media reported Wednesday.
Alpha is the second firm to get such a project order following Mahindras, which is setting up a simulator for the C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft at the Hindon air base near Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.
The simulators will be 80-90 per cent indigenous with technology transfer from Russia. However, it is going to import few hardware for mapping, geographical information systems (GIS) and navigation.
“The new defence policy and programmes enable the Indian private sector to not only meet the needs of our armed forces through import substitution, but also export a range of defence equipment to global markets,” said Shankar, a former Director of Bharat Electronics’ research and development arm.
Alpha recently won a $6-million (Rs 40 crore) deal to export 600 VHF (very high frequency) communication devices to Israel’s Elbit Systems. Alpha plans to use the same devices for meeting the critical communication needs of the Indian Army.
“We have also been pre-qualified by the Indian Army to bid for the next-generation software defined radios (SWRs), for which we have developed both software and hardware. The sets are for handheld, manpack and vehicular applications,” said Shankar.
Though the company’s SWR sets are being tested in field trials for evaluation, the army requires at least 5,000 of them for their use as they are the newer version of the low frequency and short-range radios that the army has been using over the years.
The company also developed sensors for missile launch detection system in collaboration with BEL to protect them from stingers.
The company plans to invest a part of the funds to set up two production plants in Bengaluru to execute future orders from the defense services and for exports. It has an order book of Rs 9,113 crore ($1.4 billion), for supplying defense electronics equipment to the armed forces as well as overseas firms.