Self-reliant India: Home-built missile carrier, anti-material rifle, heavy trucks unveiled


Defence News: India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Thursday launched more than a dozen defence systems developed by the country’s state owned defence companies under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious programme to make India self-reliant in the defence sector.

Of these 15 defence equipments, four each have been developed by India’s Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and state owned heavy equipment maker BEML, two products have been developed by public sector electronics major BEL, and one each by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Dynamics Limited, Mazhgaon Dock Limited, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE) and GSL.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh said self-reliance in defence manufacturing is one of the key objectives of the ‘Atma Nirbhar Abhiyan’.

“The concerted efforts being put in by the department of defence production, ministry of defence, to streamline the procurement procedures, production policies and indigenisation initiatives would lead to the development and manufacture of indigenous defence products,” Rajnath Singh said.

Defence minister said it would bring down the country’s dependence on imports thereby restricting outflow of foreign exchange, encourage development of domestic industry, insulate India from external pressure and ensure lifetime spares and service support to the defence equipment.

Corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)

Referring to corporatisation of OFB, the defence minister said if government owned defence industries are to compete at national and international level then the outdated practices will have to be done away with.

“We need to have modern management techniques, technology infusion and collaborative efforts to help aid the state defence industries serve the country efficiently,” said the defence miniser.

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“I am sure the corporatization of OFBs will not only help remove the constraints of controlled pricing, but will also infuse corporate management practices and efficient systems. I understand that it will be a challenge for OFB to reinvent itself but I hope they will succeed in it,” Rajnath Singh said.

OFB’s Nag Missile Carrier (NAMICA)

Among the products launched included the prototype of Nag Missile Carrier (NAMICA) developed by Ordnance Factory Medak in association with DRDL, Hyderabad. NAMICA has the potential for import substitution to the tune of Rs. 260 Cr in the first phase, which may go up to more than Rs 3,000 crores.

The other products developed by the Ordnance Factory Board include a fully indigenous 14.5 mm Anti Material Rifle being manufactured with the existing facilities at Ordnance Factory Trichy; an upgraded Commander’s Thermal Imager Cum Day Sight for T90 Main Battle Tank and the prototype of 8.6×70 mm Sniper Rifle developed by Rifle Factory Ishapore for engaging long range targets.

Defence Minister also appreciated BEML for the products launched saying their endeavours towards indigenisation and reduction in imports are impressive.

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BEML’s heavy earth moving trucks, excavators unveiled

Rajnath Singh said the 150 tonne payload capacity Dump Truck, one of the biggest Electric Mining Dump Trucks, a Super Giant Mining Excavator of 180 tonne capacity have cost benefit of over 20 per cent over the imported equipment

“With expected foreign exchange savings of Rs. 1500 crore and Rs. 220 crore respectively, these are true ‘Atma Nirbhar’ (self-reliance) products,” said the minister.

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BEML’s Medium Bullet Proof Vehicle GAUR

Defence miniser said BEML‘s Medium Bullet Proof Vehicle – GAUR – built on a high mobility chassis, with impressive features and customisable protection levels and custom built heliportable 100 HP Dozer, with very high indigenisation levels of 85 per cent and 94 per cent respectively, are remarkable products.

BEML Bullet Proof Vehicle Gaur

BEML’s medium bullet proof vehicle GAUR.

HAL’s Dornier Aircraft

Defence ministry said roll out of the 150th Do-228 aircraft by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is a milestone in the indigenous manufacture of a proven defence aviation platform.

The christening of the 150th aircraft as IN-259 and customising it as a dedicated platform for Indian Navy in the Maritime Reconnaissance & Intelligence Warfare role is a true reflection of the technical prowess of HAL, MoD said in a statement.

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Defence Ministry also informed that state owned defence aviation giant HAL and IISc have joined hands to establish a Skill Development Center at IISc’s Challakere campus in Karnataka.

“The goal of this Center is to create a model facility that would provide skill development programmes for various beneficiaries ranging from local community members to high-end engineering professionals in line with the “Make in India” Mission,” MoD said.

BEL’s Linear Variable Differential Transducer for Indian Navy

The government said a Linear Variable Differential Transducer fully designed and developed by BEL, which is critical to attain accuracy & precision in guiding and seeking the target, and the launch of 1 kW Transmitter Aerial Switching Rack which is an import substitution for HF Aerial switching Unit, for providing better long-term support to Indian Navy, are genuine indigenised products.

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BDL’s Konkurs Launchers Test Equipment

The Konkurs Launchers Test Equipment designed and developed by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) to check the complete functionality of Konkurs Launcher replacing the earlier imported system from Russia will save foreign exchange of US$17.7 million.

GRSE’s Portable Pedestrian (Assault) Bridge

Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE)‘s design and development of the Portable Pedestrian (Assault) Bridge, first-of-its-kind made of Carbon Fibre Polymer Composite Material, to meet the requirements of the Indian Army is a genuine ‘atma nirbhar product’, said the minister.

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GSL develops Gearbox for Coast Guard’s Patrol Vessels

The indigenous development of Gearbox for the Indian Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessels project by GSL is a success story not only in Self-reliance but also in partnering with a private company, resulting in saving of Rs 37.50 crore for five ship sets due to indigenisation.

Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle by MDL which has completed laboratory trials commences its Field Evaluation Trials at Chennai on August 13.

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Defence minister unveiled these defence equipments in a virtual ceremony attended by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Secretary Defence Production Raj Kumar.

Senior officers from Department of Defence Production were present on the occasion while CMDs of DPSUs and Chairman, OFB participated in the event through video conference links.

Rajnath Singh said some of the products launched today will not only cater to the needs of defence sector but will also be useful for the civil society when needed.

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“DPSUs and Ordnance Factories are national facilities, created and strengthened over a long period of time and have considerable technical prowess and capacity. They also have well-structured R&D and testing facilities and manufacturing capability which should be fully used for indigenous design, development and manufacturing,” Rajnath Singh said.

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