De­fence In­dus­trial Cor­ri­dors in TN, UP to build new ca­pa­bil­i­ties: PM

The 10th De­fExpo 2018 held in Chen­nai re­cently saw 702 ex­hibitors, in­clud­ing 539 In­dian firms and 163 in­ter­na­tional firms.

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“We are com­mit­ted to build a de­fence in­dus­trial com­plex that has room for ev­ery­one – public sec­tor, pri­vate sec­tor, as well as for­eign firms. We are com­mit­ted to es­tab­lish­ing 2 De­fence In­dus­trial Cor­ri­dors – one in Tamil Nadu, and the other in Ut­tar Pradesh. These cor­ri­dors will use the ex­ist­ing de­fence man­u­fac­tur­ing ecosys­tems in these re­gions, and fur­ther build upon it, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi said in Chen­nai, on April 12, 2018. The Prime Min­is­ter re­leased a Tech­nol­ogy Per­spec­tive and Ca­pa­bil­ity Road-map and launched the ‘In­no­va­tion for De­fence Ex­cel­lence’ scheme. “These in­dus­trial cor­ri­dors will be­come the en­gines of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and growth of de­fence in­dus­trial base in the coun­try. We have also es­tab­lished a De­fence In­vestors Cell to as­sist and hand­hold the in­vestors in­volved in De­fence Pro­duc­tion,” the Prime Min­ster said while in­au­gu­rat­ing the 10th edi­tion of the De­fence Expo (De­fExpo) at Thiru­vi­dan­thai on the East Coast Road (ECR) near Chen­nai.

The Tech­nol­ogy Per­spec­tive and Ca­pa­bil­ity Road-map is to help the in­dus­try in plan­ning and ini­ti­at­ing tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment, part­ner­ships and pro­duc­tion ar­range­ments. “The ‘In­no­va­tion for De­fence Ex­cel­lence’ scheme is to set up De­fence In­no­va­tion Hubs through­out the coun­try to pro­vide nec­es­sary in­cu­ba­tion and in­fra­struc­ture sup­port to the star­tups in de­fence area. Pri­vate ven­ture cap­i­tal into the de­fence sec­tor, es­pe­cially for start-ups will also be en­cour­aged,” Modi said.

New and emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies like Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence and ro­bot­ics are per­haps the most im­por­tant de­ter­mi­nants of de­fen­sive and of­fen­sive ca­pa­bil­i­ties for any de­fence force in the fu­ture. In­dia, with its lead­er­ship in In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy do­main, would strive to use this tech­nol­ogy tilt to its ad­van­tage, he said.

Ashok Ley­land ex­hibits 6 new prod­ucts

Ashok Ley­land, flag­ship of the Hin­duja Group, and the largest sup­pli­ers of lo­gis­tics ve­hi­cles to the In­dian Army, show­cased 6 ad­vanced-tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts and so­lu­tions at the De­fExpo In­dia 2018. The prod­ucts show­cased were: Light Spe­cial­ist Ve­hi­cle 4x4; Guru 715: Gen­eral Ser­vice lo­gis­tics ve­hi­cle; MBPV: Medium Bul­let Proof Ve­hi­cle 4x4; Su­per Stal­lion 8x8, A High Mo­bil­ity Ve­hi­cle; Power pack for ar­tillery guns (tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tion for the In­dian Army); Tracked ve­hi­cles: Re­power, Up­grade So­lu­tions for tracked ve­hi­cles & FICV Mo­bil­ity.

Vinod K. Dasari, MD, Ashok Ley­land said, “We have been an in­te­gral part of our na­tion’s De­fence op­er­a­tions and we con­tinue to evolve as a trusted part­ner in pro­vid­ing endto-end so­lu­tions in mo­bil­ity. Ashok Ley­land is proud to be lead­ing in this area for al­most 3 decades and we plan to be at the forefront of de­sign­ing and mak­ing in In­dia by ex­pand­ing our range of ve­hi­cle and tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions of­fer­ing. We have de­vel­oped ca­pa­bil­i­ties which will help us to bid for 20-25% of the ten­ders of the In­dian Army as against less than 1% ear­lier.”

Aman­deep Singh, Head, De­fence, Ashok Ley­land said, “Our strong fo­cus on in-house R&D and strate­gic part­ner­ships with global de­fence sup­pli­ers has helped us de­velop the next gen­er­a­tion of mo­bil­ity so­lu­tions for our de­fence per­son­nel and equip­ment. With the new gen­er­a­tion ve­hi­cles and so­lu­tions, we are fur­ther ex­tend­ing the trust our army has in us. Known for ro­bust­ness, en­durance and lat­est tech­nol­ogy, these of­fer­ings will help us ex­pand our de­fence busi­ness multi-fold in the com­ing years. We have won 31 ten­ders in the last 2 years and this alone will re­sult in cu­mu­la­tive rev­enues of over Rs 5000 crore over the next decade.”

One of the crit­i­cal or­ders worth over Rs 100 crore from the Min­istry of De­fence (MoD) is to sup­ply 10x10 ve­hi­cles (HMV10x10) to carry the Smerch Rock­ets. Singh said, “We have won 12 of the 15 ten­ders we par­tic­i­pated in last year, and this is a cru­cial win for us. This will pave Ashok Ley­land’s way for newer op­por­tu­ni­ties in pro­vid­ing mo­bil­ity plat­forms for other mis­sile car­ri­ers, mis­sile launch­ers, mod­u­lar bridges and other crit­i­cal loads. This or­der is a tes­ta­ment of our mo­bil­ity lead­er­ship in the de­fence sec­tor, and we will con­tinue to part­ner our forces in ser­vice of the na­tion.”

Tata Aero­space & De­fence for holistic growth

Tata Sons is in the process of consolidating its var­i­ous busi­nesses across Aero­space and De­fence sec­tors to­gether un­der a sin­gle en­tity: Tata Aero­space & De­fence (Tata A&D). The nec­es­sary statu­tory and reg­u­la­tory ap­provals are in the process of be­ing ob­tained.

N Chan­drasekaran, Chair­man of Tata Sons said in a state­ment, “The for­ma­tion of Tata A&D, a sin­gle uni­fied en­tity, will al­low us to bet­ter tar­get emerg­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in Aero­space and De­fence, and en­gage holis­ti­cally with cus­tomers both in In­dia and glob­ally.”

Tata A&D pro­poses to lever­age its full range of ex­per­tise, ex­pe­ri­ence, and ca­pa­bil­i­ties from across the Group re­lated to Land Mo­bil­ity So­lu­tions, Aero­space, Weapon sys­tems, Sen­sors and Com­mand, Con­trol, Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Com­put­ers and In­tel­li­gence (C4I). Sev­eral com­pa­nies pro­posed to be form­ing part of Tata A&D al­ready have strong, es­tab­lished part­ner­ships with lead­ing aero­space and de­fence firms and are part of the global sup­ply chain. In some in­stances, they are also a global sin­gle source provider.

Tata A&D pro­poses to bring to­gether over 6,000 em­ploy­ees, and have pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties in Te­lan­gana, Kar­nataka, Jhark­hand, and Ma­ha­rash­tra. Ban­mali Agrawala, Pres­i­dent, In­fra­struc­ture and De­fence & Aero­space, Tata Sons said, “Tata A&D when formed, will be bet­ter equipped to ex­e­cute larger and more com­plex projects and be more glob­ally com­pet­i­tive as part of the global sup­ply chain. We have moved be­yond pro­vid­ing in­di­vid­ual prod­ucts to de­velop in­te­grated of­fer­ings across land mo­bil­ity, air­borne plat­forms and sys­tems, as well as weapons sys­tems and C4I. In In­dia, Tata has built an in­dus­trial base in de­fence in­ten­tion­ally de­signed to com­ple­ment and in­te­grate with the ef­forts of DRDO and De­fence Public Sec­tor Units.”

Kalyani Group JV with Plansee Tung­sten

Kalyani Group and Plansee Tung­sten have formed their strate­gic part­ner­ship in the ar­eas of Spe­cial Metal­lic Pen­e­tra­tors re­quired for spe­cial­ist am­mu­ni­tion, Frag­ments made of heavy al­loys, and Spe­cial Al­loys made from Tung­sten for de­fence, aero­space and in­dus­trial pur­poses. Kalyani Group will bring to this part­ner­ship its man­u­fac­tur­ing prow­ess, both in terms of ca­pa­bil­ity and ca­pac­ity, and Plansee will con­trib­ute in terms of base ma­te­rial and tech­nol­ogy.

Ra­jin­der Singh Bhatia, Di­rec­tor of Kalyani Strate­gic Sys­tems Ltd said, “The Kalyani Group has indige­nously

de­vel­oped its skills and ca­pa­bil­ity within De­fence. We have a vi­sion to bring world’s lead­ing de­fence tech­nolo­gies in the coun­try and are hence ex­pand­ing our pro­file to en­able this process. Our strate­gic part­ner­ship with Plansee is an ex­ten­sion of this vi­sion and will give us ac­cess to some ex­tremely niche tech­nolo­gies. Plansee’s state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy will be com­ple­mented with our world-class man­u­fac­tur­ing and en­gi­neer­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties”.

The Kalyani Group show­cased its range of in­dige­nous so­lu­tions and ca­pa­bil­i­ties at the De­fexpo 2018. The prod­ucts rep­re­sented its vast prod­uct port­fo­lio spread across crit­i­cal de­fence sec­tors. These indige­nously de­vel­oped so­lu­tions in­cor­po­rate some very niche and ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies. Among these were the fu­tur­is­tic and mod­ern Ul­tra-Light How­itzers (Con­ven­tional Re­coil and Ad­vance Hy­brid Re­coil), in­dige­nous Ar­tillery Guns like Bharat 52 and Garuda 105, Ar­moured Troop Car­rier, 120kgf Thrust Gas Tur­bine En­gine, Dual Tech­nol­ogy Mine Detector, Ord­nance com­po­nents in­clud­ing 155mm/52 cal Bar­rel and Breech Block, com­po­nents made us­ing 3D print­ing tech­nol­ogy and Metal In­jec­tion Mould­ing, and so­lu­tions for aero­space sec­tor.

MKU, Thales to de­velop op­tronic de­vices

MKU Lim­ited, a lead­ing de­fence com­pany in In­dia with a foot­print in over 100 coun­tries, and Thales have signed 2 MoUs for strate­gic co-op­er­a­tion in the de­vel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion of op­tronic de­vices and F90 close quar­ter bat­tle (CQB) ri­fle for soldiers. The op­tronic de­vices will be co-de­vel­oped by Thales and MKU and both the op­tronic de­vices and F90 ri­fles will be man­u­fac­tured in In­dia at MKU’s fa­cil­i­ties in Kan­pur, Ut­tar Pradesh. These prod­ucts will be of­fered to the In­dian Army and home­land se­cu­rity forces.

Neeraj Gupta, MD of MKU said, “MKU is pleased to sign the strate­gic co-op­er­a­tion MoUs with Thales. This part­ner­ship will not only fo­cus on meet­ing the re­quire­ments of our forces in In­dia but will also look at ex­port­ing the prod­ucts to other parts of the world.”

Alex Cress­well, Se­nior Ex­ec­u­tive Vice-Pres­i­dent for Land and Air Sys­tems, Thales said, “We are very pleased to work in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with MKU for the de­vel­op­ment of weapons and op­tronic de­vices to ad­dress spe­cific needs of the In­dian and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets. This code­vel­op­ment part­ner­ship reaf­firms our com­mit­ment to In­dia and is the re­sult of our am­bi­tion to sup­port soldiers on op­er­a­tions.”

The strate­gic co-op­er­a­tion is to en­hance the night fighting ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the In­dian Army and home­land se­cu­rity forces. It en­vis­ages man­u­fac­tur­ing of op­tron­ics equip­ment in­clud­ing weapon sights, night vi­sion gog­gles, hand­held ther­mal im­agers and ther­mal in­frared sen­sor en­gine for sol­dier sys­tems, and other im­age in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion and ther­mal imag­ing sys­tems for soldiers and plat­forms re­spec­tively.

For weapons, the 2 com­pa­nies plan to co­op­er­ate so that MKU could set-up an assem­bly and man­u­fac­tur­ing plant in In­dia for the car­bine ver­sion of the F90 as­sault ri­fle, com­bat-proven and al­ready in ser­vice with Aus­tralian De­fence Forces. Light, bal­anced and ac­cu­rate, the F90CQB (Close Quar­ter Bat­tle) de­vel­oped with MKU will be well suited to In­dian con­di­tions and re­quire­ments.

IIT Madras presents de­fence tech ini­tia­tives

In­dian In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy Madras (IITM) show­cased its re­cent ini­tia­tives for fur­ther in­di­g­e­niza­tion of crit­i­cal de­fence tech­nolo­gies at the DE­FEXPO 2018. The In­sti­tute has taken the lead to trans­fer knowhow and col­lab­o­rate with the Armed Forces and the de­fence sec­tor to as­sist them in de­vel­op­ing cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies.

Prof Ravin­dra Gettu, Dean (In­dus­trial Con­sul­tancy and Spon­sored Re­search), IIT Madras said, “We are ready and ea­ger to work with com­pa­nies in the De­fence Sec­tor and the Armed Forces to de­velop rel­e­vant so­lu­tions for en­hanc­ing the se­cu­rity of our na­tion.”

Sev­eral top­ics, in­clud­ing Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence and Im­pact on bat­tle field, in­fra­struc­ture tech­nol­ogy for bor­der ar­eas, en­ergy for Armed Forces, en­hanc­ing the bat­tle field space, se­cure com­mu­ni­ca­tions for the Armed Forces and space­based sur­veil­lance, were cov­ered in a sem­i­nar on `Tech­nol­ogy per­spec­tives for the Armed Forces’, IIT Madras or­gan­ised with Bharat Shakti (a plat­form for de­fence in­dus­try) at the De­fExpo 2018.

About 100 MS/ M Tech / PhD stu­dents of var­i­ous dis­ci­plines, who are pur­su­ing the newly-in­tro­duced course on ‘Over­view of De­fence Tech­nolo­gies’, in­ter­acted with the de­fence in­dus­try to com­plete their field projects. They had a spe­cial ses­sion with the in­dus­try and se­nior of­fi­cers of the Armed Forces for op­er­a­tional ori­en­ta­tion.

“In the weeks ahead, we will un­der­take ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tions with all stake­hold­ers, in­clud­ing both In­dian and For­eign com­pa­nies, about our De­fence Pro­duc­tion and De­fence Pro­cure­ment pol­icy space. I call upon all of you to par­tic­i­pate ac­tively in this ex­er­cise. Our aim is not just to dis­cuss, but to draw the right lessons. Our in­ten­tion is not to lec­ture, but to lis­ten. Our goal is not merely to tinker, but to trans­form,” Modi said.

Show­case of strength

“We want to show­case In­dia as emerg­ing hub for man­u­fac­tur­ing as the coun­try at­tained sig­nif­i­cant mile­stones in de­fence man­u­fac­tur­ing. We also need to cre­ate op­por­tu­nity for ex­ports from In­dia,” Ajay Kumar, Sec­re­tary, De­fence Pro­duc­tion, Min­istry of De­fence, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, said. De­fExpo, held once ev­ery 2 years in Fe­bru­ary, used to be held in New Delhi. In 2014 it was moved by the then De­fence Min­is­ter Manohar Par­rikar to Goa where he promised a per­ma­nent venue. This year, De­fence Min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man brought it to Tamil Nadu.

In De­fExpo 2018, 702 ex­hibitors, in­clud­ing 539 In­dian firms and 163 in­ter­na­tional firms, par­tic­i­pated. While this was the high­est-ever par­tic­i­pa­tion by In­dian firms, there was a 10% drop in in­ter­na­tional par­tic­i­pa­tion, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials. Re­spond­ing to this, Kumar said that the ma­jor in­ter­na­tional firms par­tic­i­pated in the ex­hi­bi­tion. Around 72% of the space was al­lo­cated for In­dian ex­hibitors. Around 20% of the space was re­served for MSMEs.

The In­dian par­tic­i­pa­tion in­cluded com­pa­nies like Tata Sons, L&T, Kalyani, Bharat Forge, Mahin­dra, MKU, De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO), Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Lim­ited (HAL), Bharat Elec­tron­ics Lim­ited (BEL), Bharat Dy­nam­ics Lim­ited (BDL), Bharat Earth Movers Lim­ited (BEML), Mazagon Dock Lim­ited (MDL), the war­ship build­ing firm Gar­den Reach Ship­builders & En­gi­neers Ltd (GRSE), Goa Ship­yard Ltd (GSL), Hin­dus­tan Ship­yard Ltd (HSL), Mishra Dhatu Nigam Lim­ited (MIDHANI), Ord­nance Fac­to­ries, and many oth­ers.

The In­dia Pavil­ion in De­fExpo 2018 show­cased the com­bined strength of In­dia’s public sec­tor and pri­vate sec­tor in de­fence pro­duc­tion. Over 70 indige­nously-built prod­ucts were on dis­played, un­der the flag­ship `Make in In­dia’ pro­gramme.

The Expo also show­cased In­dia’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties in land, naval, in­ter­nal home­land se­cu­rity as well as its emer­gence as an at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tion for in­vest­ment in de­fence sec­tor by pro­vid­ing a plat­form for al­liances and joint ven­tures in the de­fence in­dus­try. The event also wit­nessed ‘live demon­stra­tions’ by In­dian Navy war­ships at sea, the In­dian Army and Air­force.

Ma­jor in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Lock­heed Mar­tin, Boe­ing (USA), Saab (Swe­den), Air­bus, Rafael (France), Roson­boron Ex­ports, United Ship­build­ing (Rus­sia), BAE Sys­tems (UK), Si­bat (Is­rael), Wart­sila (Fin­land), Rhode and Sch­warz (Ger­many), among many oth­ers par­tic­i­pated in the event.

A to­tal of 47 of­fi­cial del­e­ga­tions from dif­fer­ent coun­tries par­tic­i­pated in De­fExpo. Around 13 of them were Min­is­te­rial level del­e­ga­tions from USA, UK, Afghanistan, Czech Repub­lic, Fin­land, Italy, Mada­gas­car, Myan­mar, Nepal, Por­tu­gal, Repub­lic of Korea, Sey­chelles, and Viet­nam.

DRDO, MNCs ink pacts

In­dia is ranked the world’s top arms im­porter and the De­fence Min­istry said that In­dian firms man­u­fac­tured Rs 550 bil­lion of mil­i­tary equip­ment in 2017-18. Dur­ing the De­fExpo 2018, many agree­ments, start­ing from DRDO, Adani, L&T, BEL to multi­na­tion­als from the US, Europe, Korea, were signed to trans­fer tech­nolo­gies to the In­dian com­pa­nies.

“At the na­tional level, about 1,500 com­pa­nies have been en­gaged with the min­istry. So far 712 tech­nol­ogy trans­fers have been made. At the state level, 35 com­pa­nies have signed `Trans­fer of Tech­nol­ogy’ (ToT) for sup­ply of de­fence equip­ment,” De­fence Min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man said.

The De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO) handed over prod­ucts it has de­vel­oped to pri­vate play­ers as part of its ToT drive. Some of these tech­nolo­gies/ prod­ucts in­cluded AS­TRA Mis­sile; Varunas­tra – Heavy weight tor­pedo; Anti-Ther­mal Laser Grenade; Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of Friend & Foe (IFF); HUMSA-UG, AB­HAY Sonar etc., In the last 3 years around 200 ToTs gen­er­ated rev­enue worth around Rs 190 crore for DRDO, of­fi­cials said.

Giora Katz, Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent of Rafael Ad­vanced Sys­tems, said “we would like to work with our In­dian part­ners to trans­fer knowl­edge and en­gage in part man­u­fac­tur­ing and main­te­nance of prod­ucts.” His com­pany floated a JV with Kalyani Group and has in­vested in high-end tech­nol­ogy and ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­niques to de­sign, de­velop and man­u­fac­ture weapon sys­tems for the In­dian armed forces. The other part­ner­ships are with As­tra Mi­crowave, Bharat Forge, L&T, BEL and oth­ers in which the com­pany will be the tech­nol­ogy provider. Guto Bebb, MP and the UK Min­is­ter for De­fence Pro­cure­ment, who led a del­e­ga­tion to De­fExpo, said that around 20 UK com­pa­nies are forg­ing part­ner­ships and JVs with the In­dian com­pa­nies.

De­fence & Aero­space SME fund

The set­ting up of a ded­i­cated De­fence & Aero­space SME fund, reg­is­tered with SEBI where mi­nor­ity stake could be taken by in­vestors, was an­nounced by the De­fence sec­re­tary Ajay Kumar. This fund would help chan­nelise in­vest­ments into the de­fence cor­ri­dors in TN and UP.

Dur­ing the FICCI Ses­sion on ‘Off­sets: Way for­ward to­wards a win-win frame­work’, held at the De­fexpo 2018, Kumar said that the OEMs and the Gov­ern­ment were both dis­sat­is­fied with the ear­lier pol­icy and the MoD wishes to en­gage in a larger di­a­logue with all stake­hold­ers. The new paradigm would fo­cus on 3 prin­ci­ples - in­vest­ment in de­fence in­fra­struc­ture like Gov­ern­ment iden­ti­fied PSU/ quasi-PSU projects, pro­vid­ing higher in­cen­tives for trans­fer of ‘Know Why’ and tar­geted off­set dis­charge. He added “In­vest­ments into test­ing in­fra­struc­ture, train­ing fa­cil­i­ties and test beds would at­tract higher value of mul­ti­plier”.

The gov­ern­ment has ad­dressed the cur­rent con­cerns of OEMs of de­lays in off­set dis­charge by putting in place a frame­work for en­sur­ing ease in do­ing busi­ness. In ad­di­tion, mea­sures such as fa­cil­i­tat­ing third-party cer­ti­fi­ca­tion based on data pro­vided by the Reg­is­trar of Com­pa­nies (ROC) sub­ject to phys­i­cal ver­i­fi­ca­tion and statu­tory au­dits have also been taken.

Nir­mala Sithara­man, Union De­fence Min­is­ter, in­ter­acts with the key ex­hibitors

Aman­deep Singh, Head, De­fence, Ashok Ley­land with the Su­per Stal­lion 8x8 at the De­fExpo 2018

Wheels In­dia dis­played its wide range of wheels used in the com­mer­cial and de­fence ve­hi­cles

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