ADANI proposes to build the Saab Gripen Fighter Jet at Mihan SEZ in Maharashtra

Adani Group, which has tied up with Sweden’s Saab AB, has shortlisted Mihan-SEZ as one of its probable sites for setting up an aircraft manufacturing unit. The company, which forged an alliance with the Swedish aircraft maker in September, plans to make Gripen fighter jets in India, if it bags a contract from the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Senior officials of Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) said that a team from Adani visited the SEZ recently. Nagpur is one of the sites which the company has shortlisted for its proposed project. Adani Group would need around 100 acres for a unit to make fighter planes here.

If the deal works out, this would bring one more major defence unit to Mihan-SEZ. Reliance, which held the ground breaking ceremony for its unit here recently, plans to start production by first quarter of 2018. Reliance has tied up with France’s Dassault. It will be carrying out works under the offset agreement arising out of the purchase of 36 Rafale aircraft by the IAF. It may begin with making aircraft spares, with plans to eventually make the entire plane.

A mail sent to Adani Group for its comments on the Nagpur plans went unanswered. Sources in MADC said this is expected to be one of the major investments in aviation-cum defence sector in the SEZ, if the company finally chooses Nagpur.

UAE’s Sharaf group has also shown interest in taking up land in Mihan-SEZ for setting up a logistics park. A team from the company had visited the site this week. Since it was the first visit, not many details about the project were submitted to MADC, said sources. However, MADC officials said they are confident that the deal would come through.

There is another proposal from a leading business group. However, the company does not want to divulge its name at this stage, said a MADC official.

MADC, which is the developer of Mihan-SEZ, has also written letters to companies which have taken up land but not begun operations as yet.

MADC vice-chairman-cum-managing director Suresh Kakani told TOI that the companies were asked about their plans on the Mihan land. Since the entities have been allotted land in the SEZ, MADC, in its capacity as developer, has asked investors to inform about their plans. The letters have been sent to all the companies which have not utilized the land allotted in the SEZ so far, he said.


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Categories: Aviation

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