Cassidian, the defence and security division of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), opened India’s first defence oriented engineering center in Bengaluru on Tuesday, expecting to create jobs for over 20,000 Indian engineers in the coming years.

“Currently the center has 60 employees and we will ramp up our engineering capacity with 200 Indian engineers by 2012,” Dr. Stefan Zoller, Cassidian CEO, told media during the inauguration of the Bengaluru center.

If EADS, which has already pitched for the $11 billion deal for supplying 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) to the Indian Air Force, gets the deal, it would mean Cassidian will create about 20,000 jobs in Indian market, Zoller said.

During the ceremony, Dr. Zoller stressed the rapid growth of India as the sole reason for opening the center in the country. “India is one of the leading nations in electronics; we have to get close to the resources to invest in the market, create capabilities and produce. It’s logical and a must,” he said.

Cassidian, a leading civil and military security solutions and system provider globally, hopes to enhance its footprint in India as the company intends to establish a joint venture with Larsen & Tourbo (L&T) with respect to defence electronics, a company official said.

The first-of-its kind foreign-owned company in India, Cassidian engineering center aims to leverage the vast pool of skilled Indian engineers available in India by capitalising on leading edge technologies, systems and products of Cassidian.

The engineering centre will be at the forefront of engineering and system development, developing its core competencies in the areas of radar systems, protection systems, avionic systems, engineering IT and 3D visual simulation, aerostructure and aerospace modelling and simulation, the company said.