BANGALORE: Cassidian, the defence and security arm of European aerospace major EADS, has named the first chief executive for Indian operations.
Dr Peter Gutsmiedl will be based in Bangalore, where Cassidian started an engineering centre a year ago.
“Based in the heart of India’s aerospace and defence industry, he will lead the next phase of Cassidian’s engagement with India,” an EADS release said on Wednesday. He would increase business in close co-operation with domestic companies, it said.
The Engineering Centre is expected to expand to 100 engineers by 2012-end.
Cassidian is a key partner in the four-country Eurofighter consortium. The Eurofighter Typhoon was a finalist in the six-cornered race to bag the Rs 50,000-odd-crore order for at least 126 fighter planes or MMRCA for the IAF.
Although the Government is negotiating the price with lowest bidder, France’s Dassault, for its Rafale fighters, the consortium has optimistically presented a fresh price.
Cassidian’s interests are also in land, naval and joint systems, missiles, intelligence and surveillance, cyber security, secure communications and test systems.
Mr Bernd Wenzler, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EADS DS India Ltd., was cited as saying, “India is of utmost importance for us and we intend to create a long-lasting strategic partnership with this fast growing country. Appointing a top manager like Peter Gutsmiedl as first India CEO reflects our strong commitment to further deepen cooperation with this nation.”
Dr Gutsmiedl, 54, said, “I am looking forward to my new task of plugging India firmly into Cassidian’s global value chain. We have started to establish a deep industrial footprint here in collaboration with public and private Indian entities such as HAL, DRDO, Larsen & Toubro and others. [The] Engineering Centre provides an excellent base, both for delivering tailor-made equipment to local customers and for supporting our global initiatives from India.”
Cassidian is involved with the Defence Research and Development Organisation as a consultant for the light combat aircraft; and in designing the indigenous airborne early warning and control system. It has a venture with L&T in defence electronics. It has a homeland security contract from the Andhra Pradesh police and a secure radio network order for Parliament.
Dr Gutsmiedl has been involved in the programmes related to the Typhoon, the Tornado, the F-18, F-4, A400M, AWACS, Euro Hawk and UAVs, the release said.