Engineering giant Larsen & Toubro and Cassidian, a division of leading European aerospace and defence group EADS, today announced the formation of a joint venture targeting the global defence electronics market.

The joint venture will establish bases of operation at Talegoan, near Pune, and in the city. It will be involved in the manufacture, design, engineering, distribution and marketing of systems used in electronic warfare, radars, avionics and mobile systems like bridges for military applications, representatives of the JV told reporters here.

The name of the joint venture has been submitted to the authorities and approval is awaited, L&T President (Heavy Engineering) M V Kotwal said. He said the name of the JV would be disclosed once it was registered.

L&T will hold a 74 per cent in the JV and Cassidian the remaining 26 per cent.

“We are having a global leader in aerospace as our partner. The JV has potential to reach USD 0.5 billion to USD 1 billion mark in business volumes in the next ten years and the volume of investments will also go (up) in tune,” Kotwal said.

About USD 20 million will be invested to set up the proposed JV facility at Talegoan, which will cover an area of about 30 acres.

In addition, a strategic electronics centre will be established in Bangalore, he said, adding that the JV will be a centre of excellence for both companies.

“Cassidian’s strategy is to become a local player with global reach. India is a strategic country and is a leader in IT and electronic software-based technology,” Cassidian’s CEO (Electronics) Bernd Wenzler said.

Kotwal said L&T, which manufactured the first Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher, will soon start work on developing a second-generation launcher.

He said his company’s order-book is worth hundreds of crores of rupees and orders for the Pinaka barrel rocket launcher alone are valued at over Rs 172 crore. However, he declined to specify the exact size of the firm’s order book.

In reply to a query, he said certain projects that L&T has been working on in collaboration with the DRDO will not be hampered by the new JV and will continue.