"Vice Admiral Mahadevan will spearhead the Reliance Group's all Russia-related operations. Subramanyam will steer the aerostructures business," sources said.
Vice Admiral Mahadevan, who retired from service about five years ago as Chief of Material, has previously served in the Indian Navy as the Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition. A specialist electrical officer, he has previously served in naval dockyards from the level of assistant manager (design) to Admiral Superintendent Dockyard at Visakhapatnam. Subramanyam, a mechanical and aeronautical engineer, has previously served in the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) for 40 years, in particular at the Defense Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) at Hyderabad on various projects, significantly on control, guidance and navigation of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). He joined ADA in 1986 and took over as the Program Director (Combat Aircraft) and ADA Director in August 2005.
The Reliance ADAG has earlier recruited retired Indian Air Force wing commander and former head of Lockheed Martin's India operations Rajesh Dhingra earlier this year and former Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) managing director Vice Admiral H.S.Malhi as the Group President and Chief Executive Officer in June to head the Reliance Defense Systems Private Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Limited. The Reliance Group, which entered into the defense sector less than a year ago, has created 11 new companies to manufacture military equipment in India. The Reliance ADAG has also sought industrial licence in June 2015 for its companies Reliance Helicopters for the choppers business, Reliance Aerostructures for making aircraft, Reliance Land Systems for army equipment, Reliance Technologies for weapons and systems, and Reliance Propulsion Systems for aerospace products, according to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
In March 2015, Anil Ambani's Reliance Infrastructure acquired the Gujarat-based Pipavav Defense and Offshore Engineering Company through its Reliance Defense Systems, which has in the recent months looked at bagging deals for refit and repair of the Russian-origin Kilo class submarines. The Reliance Group has also tied up with Singapore's Augur to target Rs.12,000 crore (Rs.120 Billion/$1.9 Billion) market in India for Aerostat radars for India's armed forces over the next five years. It is also in talks with Russia for building the Kamov Ka-226T light utility helicopter in India. Since the Narendra Modi government stormed to power in the April-May 2014 parliamentary elections, the focus of its 'Make in India' initiative has been in the defense sector and the Reliance Group has moved foward with its plans for this sector. Some of its significant steps include providing approvals for procurement of weapons and equipment worth nearly $60 billion in the last over a year, apart from hiking the foreign direct investment cap to 49 per cent through Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval, de-licensing of the military maintenance, repair and overhaul business, pruning of products that require defense license for manufacturing, rationalizing the list of defense products for exports, and releasing a naval indigenization plan up to 2030.
India is expected to spend nearly Rs.400,000 crore (Rs.4,000 Billion/$60 billion) on defense capital acquisition over the next four years during the tenure of the Modi government. In consonance with the Modi government's plan to boost domestic military industry, most of the orders are expected to be go to Indian industries under the 'Make in India' initiative.