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'Thales, Kanpur's MKU to jointly make night vision devices for armed forces in UP'

LUCKNOW/ NOIDA (PTI): Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister Sidharth Nath Singh on Monday said French multinational company Thales Group will collaborate with Kanpur-based MKU to make night vision devices in the state for armed forces.

The project will take place as part of the UP Defence Industrial Corridor, said Singh, the Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME), Export Promotion, Investment Promotion, among others, while inaugurating the corporate office of the India unit of Thales Group in Noida.

The minister also requested Thales Group to invest in UP to make parts of fighter jets and assured of support of the state government.

Thales' country head Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, French Ambassador to India Emanuel Lenain and Thales' India, Africa and Central Asia representative Jean Marc Budin were also present during the event.

"Virtually opened #Thales India HQs in Noida. 6 storey, 1100 employees with state of art green building. Was delighted to hear the views of Ambassador of France to India Mr. Emmanuel Lenain in building relationship with #UP," the minister tweeted.

He said the opening of the multinational company's office in Noida will be a boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for 'Aatmnirbhar Bharat' and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's call for 'Aatmnirbhar Uttar Pradesh', according to the statement.

"Thales has proposed to make night vision devices for the armed forces in association with Kanpur-based defence company MKU and work is under progress over the proposal," Singh was quoted as saying in the statement.

Besides, Thales will also work as a major engineering centre for work on digital identity and security business. It will also assist the state in skill development for locals apart from developing high-standard technology, he added.

"Thales is working alongside HAL, BHEL, L&T in India in the technology sector. This makes it clear that the opening of Thales' office in UP will be a boost to the state's aspiration for becoming 'aatmanirbhar' (self-reliant) in the defence sector," he said.

Earlier, MNCs and foreign-based firms preferred to invest in south Indian states, but over the last three years they have increasingly shown interest in UP as an investment destination, he added.

He also praised the leadership of the chief minster which he said has resulted in the state jumping from 12th spot to second in the country in terms of ease of doing business.

Thales' India head Emmanuel de Roquefeuil said the group is working in 68 countries in the technology sector, employs around 83,000 people and has an annual turnover of approximately US$ 20 billion, according to the statement.

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