Feb 12
Mission Missile
Mission Missile
À coeur vaillant rien d'impossible (for a valiant heart, nothing is impossible)! And a joint venture led by L&T is proving that right here from the Indian soil. L&T MBDA Missile Systems Ltd (LTMMSL), a JV between L&T and MBDA France, has commenced the delivery of the MICA missile air-to-air launchers that can be fitted onto Rafale fighter aircraft – the latest sophisticated jets that the Indian Air Force has inducted in its fleet.
 
This assumes significance because LTMMSL’s greenfield facility in Coimbatore had barely started operations in March 2020, when the pandemic – and the lockdown – struck! The journey to the milestone began in 2019, when the foundation stone was laid at an SEZ near Coimbatore. Construction proceeded at full throttle, following the best practices of both parents. The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art security systems and has climate-controlled dust-free cleanrooms.
 
Despite the pandemic, LTMMSL team installed and commissioned the critical equipment, following the highest standards of COVID-19 prevention. Installation, commissioning and training were completed using new-age digital means, with trainers from France sharing their expertise without travelling to India.
 
On-time delivery and first-time-right-every-time-right are LTMMSL’s driving force. This vision ensures delivery in the shortest possible time, with utmost focus on safety, health, security and quality. The missile launchers were flagged off on 8 December with Dr M K Shanmuga Sundaram, IAS (Development Commissioner, MEPZ Special Economic Zone), present as the chief guest.
 
The event was graced by  Mr J D Patil (Chairman -LTMMSL and L&T’s Whole-time Director - Defence & Smart Technologies), Mr Mukesh Bhargava (Board Member, LTMMSL) and Mr Arun Ramchandani (EVP – Guns, Missiles & Armoured Systems, L&T) and Mr Boris Solomiac (General Delegate, MBDA India).  Several other LTMMSL Board Members and senior executives from L&T and MBDA joined virtually from various parts of the world – Le-Plessis and Bourges in France, Stevenage in the UK and Powai and Kattupalli in India.
 
Mr Ravi Kataria (Chief Executive - LTMMSL) described the challenges faced during the setting up of the facility. He underscored that the facility was the result of a focussed strategy which involves developing capabilities within the JV, enhancing the technology spectrum, and building capacities ahead of time so that when the opportunity arises, LTMMSL is well-positioned to deliver missiles and missile systems. 
 
A presentation on the facility was made by Mr Philippe Dallamaggiore (Chief Operations Officer) and Mr Amol M Gadre (Head - Operations). Mr Yannick Roussel (Group Head of Industrial Offsets & Export Infra Procurement, MBDA) addressed the gathering virtually from France.
 
Mr Patil stated that the facility is the first step towards proactively offering advanced missiles and missile systems to the Indian Armed Forces through domestic production. Congratulating LTMMSL, Dr Sundaram reassured MEPZ’s full support for its overall growth and self-reliance in defence production. Mr LoÏc Piedevache (Vice Chairman, LTMMSL) also addressed the gathering.
 
The LTMMSL facility will also integrate MICA missile sections. Aligned with the ‘Make in India’ and Atmanirbhar Bharat initiatives, the JV is a commitment to India’s long-standing goals for achieving self-sufficiency in defence machinery.

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