India is a Class ‘A’ Market Where we are Looking at Building a “Smart Subsidiary”, Instead of Operating as a Mere Sales Office

Intro: Country head and key account manager, Atlas Elektronik, Khalil Rahman

How is Atlas Elektronik planning to establish itself in India?
We are starting the process in small steps. First of all, Atlas is creating a legal entity, Atlas Elektronik India Pvt Ltd. We will start with small staff comprising myself, Commander Darshan Chikker and Focke Schwarzer. Being a former naval officer, Cdr Chikker will be focussing more on acquisition. Focke, who comes from an engineering background and was with the parent company in Germany, will focus on building capabilities to execute current and future orders. The clarity of the business case is based on the couple of programmes where we have a very good visibility and which we hope will be decided shortly. These include the life extension of the torpedoes and Active Towed Array Sonars. In addition to these two, three major programmes are coming up where we are going to bid. Then there are long-term programmes, for instance, Project-75India.

What are the three major bids in the pipeline?
The first one is the new torpedo defence suite, which is an anti submarine warfare (ASW) suite consisting of a sonar, a decoy and fire control system. The bid is for 12 systems and the request for proposal (RFP) is out. We are also expecting the bid for eight plus eight ASW shallow water craft. Each of these ships will be equipped with hull-mounted sonar and low frequency variable depth sonar (LFVDS). This is a specialised ASW craft designed to operate in littoral waters. India has two coastlines. While the eastern coastline is deep, the western coastline does not have too much depth. It is difficult to get sonars to function effectively in shallow waters. We are expecting the bid in January 2013. The third bid would be for the towed-array sonar for eight kilo class submarines which are undergoing upgrade
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