India's Adani unveils defence complex, $362 million investment plan

FILE PHOTO: A logo of the Adani Group is seen on a commercial complex in Mumbai

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Billionaire Gautam Adani's group plans to invest more than 30 billion rupees ($362.1 million) in the manufacturing of ammunition and missiles, the conglomerate's defence arm said on Monday, as it unveiled two sprawling production facilities in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The plans highlight the ports-to-power conglomerate's ambitions in the lucrative defence sector where manufacturing is largely dominated by government-owned companies.

Adani Defence & Aerospace will manufacture a "full spectrum of ammunition" for India's armed forces, paramilitary forces and police at the facilities spread over 500 acres, creating more than 4,000 jobs, it said in a press release.

The company has already started rolling out small calibre ammunition from the complex, starting with 150 million rounds that it estimates form 25% of India's annual requirement.

It will also house explosive-handling facilities for missiles and precision-guided munitions.

"Recent geopolitical events have reemphasized the need for a reliable supply from internal sources for ammunition in preparedness for a long-drawn conflict," India's Chief of Army Staff Manoj Pande said in the statement.

Adani announced the setting up of the facilities in 2022 at the Uttar Pradesh Investors' Summit.

India, the world's largest importer of arms, has been pushing to boost its nascent defence manufacturing industry.

Adani also has a drone manufacturing facility in partnership with Israel's Elbit Systems in the southern Indian state of Telangana, where it manufactures the Hermes 900 drones for the militaries of the two countries.

($1 = 82.8480 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Eileen Soreng and Sohini Goswami)