"In­dia's A&D elec­tron­ics mar­ket will reach US$ 72 bil­lion in a decade"

Electronics Bazaar - - Front Page -

Man­u­fac­tur­ers in the aero­space and de­fence (A&D) sec­tor have been ma­jor par­tic­i­pants in the tech­no­log­i­cal tran­si­tion brought about by In­dus­try 4.0. In a con­ver­sa­tion with Baishakhi Dutta,

se­nior busi­ness jour­nal­ist at Elec­tron­ics Bazaar, M.N. Vidyashankar, pres­i­dent, In­dia Elec­tron­ics and Semi­con­duc­tor As­so­ci­a­tion (IESA),

shares his views on the role of IoT in the In­dian aero­space and de­fence man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try. EB: Tell us a lit­tle about the mar­ket sce­nario for aero­space and de­fence man­u­fac­tur­ing in In­dia.

The op­por­tu­ni­ties for elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­ing in In­dia span both stand­alone sys­tems as well as sub­sys­tems. The to­tal mar­ket po­ten­tial for the A&D (aero­space and de­fence) elec­tron­ics sec­tor in In­dia will reach US$ 70-72 bil­lion in the next 10-12 years. Of this, al­most US$ 53-54 bil­lion will be spent on plat­forms (i.e., at the Tier 1 and Tier 2 lev­els). An­other US$ 17-18 bil­lion will be for what is tra­di­tion­ally called sys­tem-of­sys­tem projects like the In­dian Army’s Project TCS (Tac­ti­cal Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sys­tem) and Project BMS (Bat­tle­field Man­age­ment Sys­tem).

EB: Please en­lighten us about the lat­est tech­nol­ogy trends in the In­dian A&D sec­tor.

Be­tween 2007 and 2012, more than US$ 50 bil­lion were spent on new equip­ment for the In­dian de­fence sec­tor. Cur­rent modernisation plans will ac­cel­er­ate spend­ing by over US$ 200 bil­lion on pro­cure­ments planned for be­tween 2013 and 2022 in In­dia. Com­mer­cial ap­pli­ca­tions will be­come more im­por­tant and take over the role of tech­nol­ogy driv­ers. In­dian com­pa­nies and global OEMs will con­tinue to ex­plore mod­els of col­lab­o­ra­tion, fo­cus­ing on de­vel­op­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties in In­dia and on tech­nol­ogy tie-ups.

EB: How much has IoT pen­e­trated into the In­dian A&D man­u­fac­tur­ing sce­nario?

IoT has been play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant role in the A&D sec­tor since a while, in terms of im­ple­ment­ing sen­sors and in com­put­erised au­to­ma­tion. The process of net­works of de­vices op­er­at­ing on the ba­sis of ma­chineto-ma­chine (M2M) in­ter­ac­tions, with­out hu­man in­ter­ven­tion, has been adopted by the A&D in­dus­try a long time back. How­ever, in the case of the man­u­fac­tur­ing sce­nario in In­dia, IoT will take some time to be adopted.

EB: What are the cur­rent IoT se­cu­rity stan­dards in the A&D sec­tor and is there scope for im­prove­ment?

IoT faces a num­ber of chal­lenges in terms of se­cu­rity stan­dards. Presently, the big­gest prob­lem with IoT is the lack of con­sis­tent stan­dards. This can com­pli­cate prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and the in­dus­try’s growth, apart from pos­ing a se­cu­rity threat. Uni­form stan­dards and ap­pro­pri­ate cer­tifi­cates would elim­i­nate this ma­jor chal­lenge.

EB: What are the chal­lenges that A&D man­u­fac­tur­ers face in in­cor­po­rat­ing IoT?

One of the ma­jor chal­lenges is the cost of adopt­ing the tech­nol­ogy. In­cor­po­rat­ing IoT out­right can be an ex­pen­sive ven­ture for large man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies. Small ones may not be able to sus­tain the cost. The other ma­jor chal­lenges are a lack of stan­dards and se­cu­rity, the ab­sence of the right skillsets and lim­ited avail­abil­ity of ex­pe­ri­enced man­power to adopt the new tech­nol­ogy.

EB: What is the roadmap for the A&D man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor in light of the evo­lu­tion of con­nected man­u­fac­tur­ing?

A&D com­pa­nies have been suc­cess­fully im­ple­ment­ing sen­sors and us­ing com­put­erised au­to­ma­tion for decades in their man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions. IoT will re­de­fine not only man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses, but also the look and feel of a prod­uct. It will re­duce global com­pet­i­tive­ness with in­creased colo­ca­tion of de­sign, man­u­fac­tur­ing and ser­vices. IoT in A&D is not a very dis­tant con­cept —it will be im­ple­mented within a few years.

M.N. VIDyAShANkAr, pres­i­dent, In­dia Elec­tron­ics and Semi­con­duc­tor As­so­ci­a­tion (IESA)

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