Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), the Bangalore-based public sector defence electronics company, is actively looking at a possibility of collaborating with an overseas company to set up a manufacturing plant to produce seekers for missiles in the country. The investment required for setting up a new manufacturing plant for seekers could range between Rs 300 crore to Rs 500 crore. Currently BEL has a cash reserve in the range of Rs 3,500 crore sufficient to fund acquisitions. India currently dependent on imports for seekers for its missile programme and it cannot depend too much on the imports.
The company hopes to get an order worth around Rs 500 crore from the Indian Coast Guard for Coastal Surveillance System by end of March this year. The company is also in final stages of talks with Thales of France for forming a joint venture for both civilian and defence applications.
BEL, which reported a turnover of Rs 5,220 crore in 2009-10, is looking at a growth of 10 per cent to achieve a turnover of over Rs 5,700 crore during 2010-11. The company’s current order book position stands at Rs 16,742 crore.

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