BHARAT DYNAMICS PREPARES FOR BIG LEAP
India’s only manufacturer of missiles, Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL), has scouted two new locations to set up units with upgraded infrastructure in preparation for new contracts – these include prospective manufacture of the Indo-Israeli LRSAM & MRSAM, a likely SRSAM and the VSHORADS system currently still in the competitive trials phase between Russia, Sweden and France. The two new locations are Ibrahimpuram in Andhra Pradesh and Amravati in Maharashtra. BDL is also in the process of broadening its vendor base and creating effective project management systems to cater to the massively more challenging work that may come its way, and to deliver on time. The new missile production lines will be more complex than anything BDL has ever taken on before. While there is still time for any of those deals to come through in terms of production contracts, the MoD has instructed BDL to be prepared on all fronts so there are no delays once contracts are signed. Like many other DPSUs, BDL has taken its time emerging from the old way of working, and now realises it faces stiff competition from the private sector with the ‘Make in India’ philosophy gaining ground and a new no-nonsense Defence Minister unlikely to protect DPSUs from market competition from the private sector. As BDL noted in its 2013-14 annual report, “Keeping in view the government policy to encourage competition from all sectors in defence acquisition programmes, BDL is aware that its nominated production agency status is being slowly transformed to competitive bidder.” For starters, BDL has initiated an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) programme to be rolled out across the company by March 2015, along with stringest quality certifications across all divisions. The company has also decided to set up a product life-cycle management based design and documentation cell to serve as a central repository for all design drawings, technical specs and manufacturing manuals.