Indian Defense Industry General News and Updates

Butter Chicken

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HAL invites Indian partner for licence manufacturing of ALH Civil

Providing a major boost to private participation in aircraft making, Public Sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Friday invited Indian Partner for licence manufacturing of the civilian version of its Advance Light Helicopter (ALH) under Transfer of Technology model.

This will be the first time in Indian history and provide a major boost to defence manufacturing and Government’s Make-in-India initiative.

HAL has offered the indigenous ‘Advanced Light Helicopter-Dhruv’ (Civil version) for manufacturing to potential Indian private companies through TOT.
Accordingly, the Company has invited Expression of Interest (EOI) for identification of Indian Partner, a HAL release said here.

”Considering the increasing need of helicopters in civil operations of the country, this will be a mega deal from HAL which is the OEM and Licensor,” T Suvarna Raju, CMD of HAL said.
 

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Boeing quadruples sourcing from India to over $1 billion in 2 years

Hyderabad: Aircraft maker Boeing Co. has quadrupled its sourcing from India to over $1 billion during the past two years, a senior executive said on Thursday.

“We have invested tremendously in India because the future here is extremely bright. We’ve quadrupled our sourcing from India in the past two years to more than $1 billion,” said Leanne Caret, president and chief executive officer, Boeing Defence, Space and Security.

She also said that the company is investing in talent, training and skills development to get frontline factory workers and technicians ready for advanced aerospace manufacturing and ready to deliver world class quality around the globe.

Caret was speaking at the launch of the chopper fuselage manufacturing facility of Tata Boeing Aerospace, a joint venture formed between Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems, at Adibatla aerospace special economic zone on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

The JV has been established to co-produce Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter fuselages and other aerostructures, as well as to pursue integrated systems in aerospace. The Hyderabad facility will eventually be the sole producer of AH-64 fuselages globally.
 

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Tritech transfers tech expertise to Dharwad plant

Tritech Group Ltd, a UK-based manufacturer owned by Neterwala Group, is transferring part of its aerospace component technology and expertise to Dharwad plant in Karnataka.

"Eighty parts have been transferred as part of the ongoing programme to supply components from India to Airbus and UTC among others," said Andy Cheers, senior business development manager of Tritech.

"The intent is to develop the capability to supply the aerospace standard parts in India," he said on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow.

"We have attained the necessary approvals for that facility - AS9100 for aerospace standards; and NADECAP - which is approval for special processes," Cheers said of the Dharwad plant.

The Dharwad plant is a world leader in the manufacture of brass synchroniser rings and precision machined components for the automotive and truck industry.

There is 15-20 per cent cost savings on parts made, according to Cheers.

In 2011, Neterwala Group acquired Tritech, specialists in manufacturing aerospace parts, aluminium, stainless and super alloys. It also does multi-axis C and C machining.
 

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Foreign Participation in Defence Production under ‘Make In India’ Programme

Since the launch of ‘Make in India’ programme in 25September 2014, so far, 12 foreign investment proposals have been approved in defence sector under Government route.

  • M/s Punj Lloyd Limited.
  • M/s Idea Forge Technology Pvt. Ltd.
  • M/s Sasmos Het Technologies Ltd.
  • M/s Dynamatic Technologies Ltd.
  • M/s Mahindra Telephonic Integrated Systems Limited.
  • M/s Indian Rotorcraft Limited.
  • M/s BF Elbit Advanced Systems Pvt. Ltd.
  • M/s Safran Engineering Services India Pvt. Ltd.
  • M/s. Tata Sikorsky Aerospace Limited.
  • M/s. Quantum Simulators Pvt. Ltd.
  • M/s Ideaforge Technology Pvt. Ltd.
  • M/s Alpha-Elsec Defence and Aerospace Systems Pvt. Ltd.
The position of disinvestment in respect of DPSUs is as follows:-

  • In BDL government has proposed to offer 12% shareholding through Initial Public Offering.
  • In BEML, government has given in principle approval of strategic disinvestment of 26% shareholding of BEML out of Government of India shareholding of 54.03% with transfer of management.
  • In HAL, the process of disinvestment of 10% Government of India shareholding by way of offer of has started.
  • In BEL, during 2017-2018, the Government of India has sold 2,98,84,329 equity shares through Exchange Traded Fund(ETF) of market transaction.
  • Government of India has decided disinvestment through IPO for 17.5% in GRSE, 10% in MDL, 25% in MIDHANI out of Government of India shareholding of 100% and reservation of upto 5% of post issue shareholding to eligible employees of GRSE, MDL and MIDHANI.


This information was given by RakshaRajyaMantriDr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to ShriC.P. Narayananin Rajya Sabha today.
 
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Don't miss bus on new semiconductors
Besides making massive investments into silica-based semiconductor fabrication, China has also been strategically active in the development of non-silica semiconductor materials, including Gallium Nitride (GaN), which is already revolutionising power electronics for cutting-edge aerospace and defence applications in the West and is set for wider use in data centres, electric vehicles and consumer devices. In fact, China's efforts in this arena have already led the US, which currently leads the world in GaN technology, to actively stop Chinese acquisitions of Western firms involved in this space.

India, which let the entire silica-based semiconductor revolution bypass it and is still struggling to get a Silicon Carbide (SiC) foundry off the ground, today has a golden opportunity to not miss the new worldwide wave of GaN semiconductor development.

In this context, reports suggesting that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has decided not to fund a Rs 3,000-crore expansion of an existing engineering-scale GaN foundry at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, because of the 'risk' involved in pursuing this new technology, and MeitY's desire to prioritise silica-based fabs to cater to existing civilian electronics requirements, are troubling, to say the least.

GaN's main benefit is that high-electron mobility transistors (HeMT) and devices made from it boast properties such as rapid switching and the ability to operate at very high power levels without any need for cooling. For example, GaN HeMTs can be used to create multi-functional GaN monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), which can be packaged into more efficient and versatile transmit/receive modules for active electronic scanned array radars and other solid-state electronic warfare equipment.

Moreover, legacy concerns about the reliability of GaN have been overcome by Western defence majors such as Raytheon, who are now reaping the rewards of having assiduously invested in GaN. In recent years, Raytheon has been winning key Pentagon contracts related to electronic warfare such as the 'next generation jammer', due in no small measure to its ownership of a Pentagon-accredited 'trusted foundry' that churns out GaN MMICs. This 'trusted foundry' obviates security risks related to imported GaN wafers and allows Raytheon to fashion custom-made solutions much quicker and cheaper.

Clearly, GaN has already emerged as a semiconductor material of choice for aerospace and defence devices and is no 'blue sky' idea fraught with unmeasurable risk. Especially because the IISc proposal relates to scaling up an existing GaN facility at its Centre for Nanoscience and Engineering (CeNSE), where integrated work related to GaN material growth, MMIC creation, packaging and device fabrication is already underway.

In fact, the far greater risk, given developments not just in the West but in China as well, lies in India falling behind yet again in a crucial arena of strategic electronics development and endangering its security by not funding the IISc proposal due to short-sightedness.

'Trusted foundry'

In the absence of local supply of GaN wafers, India would either have to accept a disadvantage by continuing to develop critical EW equipment using non-GaN material or would have to import wafers from GaN foundries abroad, with attendant security risks and cost penalties. Instead, the IISc proposal allows India to develop its own 'trusted foundry' as it were.

In contrast to the problems India is facing in setting up multi-billion dollar SiC semifabs, the IISc proposal can reach fruition much quicker and has the potential to generate a much bigger return on investment, given that GaN is being increasingly used for civilian applications as well. The IISc plan would also have followed a proven path adopted by China over a decade ago when it started setting up foundries for strategic non-silica semiconductor material in integrated facilities similar to CeNSE.

An example of this would be the creation of a Mercury Cadmium Telluride (HgCdTe) fab at the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics, which used its integrated development chain to churn out high-quality infrared (IR) sensors for China's military space programme. Importantly, China has now scaled up some of these ventures for mass supply to the commoditised device market. Obviously, China seeks to do the same with GaN as well, that is, use its scale to bring down GaN fabrication costs thereby paving the way for widespread commercial use.

Like China, India also needs to first invest in setting up non-silica based integrated industrial semiconductor facilities for strategic applications with a view to scaling them up in the future. Apart from IISc's GaN foundry, India also urgently needs a HgCdTe fab for making focal point arrays that will go into indigenous Imaging IR missile-seekers. If MeitY is unable to provide the funds for IISc's GaN foundry, the Ministry of Defence should step in to do so, given its strategic importance. After all, the only way to avoid being blindsided by the future is to be a part of it.

(The writer is a New Delhi-based commentator on security and energy issues)
 

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Larsen & Toubro is developing 125 mm FSAPDS rounds.


Screenshot from 2018-03-17 23-48-40.png
 
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Tata Power exits defense business by selling it to group company

Tata Power will receive Rs 1,040 crore at the time of deal closing and the balance payment of Rs 1,190 crore will be received only on achieving certain milestones.

Tata Power Company has announced the sale of its defense business to a group company, Tata Advance Systems, at an enterprise value of Rs 2,230 crore.

The Tata group power utility said that the sale of the business is a part of the company’s plan to monetize its non-core assets and improve the balance sheet.

Tata Power will receive Rs 1,040 crore at the time of deal closing and the balance payment of Rs 1,190 crore will be received only on achieving certain milestones.

“SED is a non-core business division of Tata Power. The company has been working on charting its next phase of growth, for which monetization of non-core assets is a critical step. This sale will also help in reduction of leverage,” said Anil Sardana, CEO & Managing Director, Tata Power.

Strategic Engineering Division (SED) is a non-core defence electronics division of the company, which designs, develops, produce and supplies life cycle support for mission critical defence systems. The key products include manufacturing and assembling missile launchers, electronic warfare, night vision systems and gun systems.


Earlier this week, Tata Power’s board approved the sale of its holding in Tata Communications and Panatone Finvest to Tata Sons and its affiliates for Rs 2,150 crore.
 
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Defence PSUs may soon be allowed to form JVs with foreign firms

New Delhi: In what could be a major policy amendment, the defence ministry is considering bringing in state-run defence public sector undertakings (PSUs) for forging joint ventures with foreign companies under its ambitious strategic partnership (SP) model.

The government had unveiled the strategic partnership model last May under which select private firms were to be roped in to build key military platforms like submarines and fighter jets in India in partnership with global defence majors.

People in the know said the government is seriously considering involving the defence PSUs under the framework of the strategic partnership model. There was criticism of the strategic partnership model as it did not envisage any clear role for major defence PSUs like Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited and Bharat Earth Movers Ltd which are leading producers of key military platforms.

Though the policy was announced in May, nothing concrete has taken place on the ground for its implementation. When asked about the issue, additional secretary of defence production Subhash Chandra said the government was committed to create a level-playing field for all the stakeholders. “There are issues relating to our policy on defence manufacturing. We are considering how to involve the defence PSUs. We are working on certain issues,” he told reporters at a briefing on upcoming Defence Expo in Chennai.

India is a leading importer of arms and military platforms globally and the current government has been maintaining that indigenisation of defence manufacturing is a priority area. The new policy was expected to attract billions of dollars of investment in defence manufacturing by private defence majors including leading foreign firms.

The SP model was proposed by the Dhirendra Singh Committee in July, 2015. It had said that for the ‘Make in India’ initiative to become wider in the defence sector, the government should adopt a strategic partnership model, whereby a private firm is chosen for the development of a specific identified platform.
 

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Thales, MKU to co-develop weapons for Indian Army

Thales, a €15.8-billion French company, and Kanpur-based defence equipment manufacturer MKU Ltd will together develop and produce optronic devices and F90 close quarter battle (CQB) rifles.

Both products, to be manufactured at MKU’s facilities in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, will be offered to the Indian Army and homeland security forces under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Emmanuel De Roquefeuil, Vice-President and Country Director, India, told newspersons that the products co-developed by the alliance will enhance night fighting capabilities of the Indian Army and homeland security forces.

The alliance envisages manufacturing of optronics equipment, including weapon sights, night vision goggles, hand-held thermal imagers and thermal infrared sensor engine for soldier systems, and other image intensification and thermal imaging systems for soldiers and platforms.

New plant

For weapons, MKU will set up an assembly and manufacturing plant for the carbine version of F90 assault rifle, combat-proven and already in service with the Australian Defence Forces. Light, balanced and accurate, the F90CQB developed with MKU will be well suited to Indian conditions and requirements, says a joint press release. Roquefeuil was non-committal on time frame of the new plant.

Thales designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets, while MKU has manufacturing and test facilities for Electro-Optics in India.

Revenue growth

The Indian company, which is supplying night vision devices to Special Forces, CAPFs and State Police Forces, is executing a Defence Ministry contract for 158,279 ballistic helmets for the Army and Navy, the release said.

Roquefeuil said the company’s revenue in India was around €300 million in 2017, and growing above the industry average in different sectors.

Manufacturing hub

The company has been in India since 1953, and employs around 600 providing technologies and expertise in the Defence, Transport and Aerospace markets.

“Our aim is to help the Indian industry to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub. India is one of the three top priority countries for Thales. We are developing local partnerships and co-developing products to address Indian market and export from India,” he said.

Other ventures

In India, Thales has a joint venture with BEL for civilian and select ground-based military radars.

It has been providing Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd avionics equipment for platforms that the Indian company is designing and has partnered with Samtel for military avionics and airborne sensor systems.

The French company has also been working with L&T Technology Services and Reliance Defence Ltd, he said.
 
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Rolls-Royce partners with Goa Shipyard to manufacture MTU engines in India

NEW DELHI: Rolls-Royce today said it has inked pact with Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) to manufacture technologically-advanced MTU Series 8,000 engines, used in offshore patrol vessels, in India.

"Rolls-Royce and GSL, a premier defence shipbuilding yard in India under the Ministry of Defence, have agreed to cooperate in the local manufacturing of technologically-advanced MTU Series 8,000 engines in India.

"Under the agreement, which was signed today at India's leading defence trade show Defexpo, the companies will assemble the 16-cylinder and 20-cylinder MTU Series 8,000 engines at GSL's new facility in Goa," Rolls-Royce Power Systems said in a statement.

The MTU brand is a worldwide leader in large diesel and gas engines and complete propulsion systems and part of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

The agreement includes transfer of MTU technology related to localising of engine components, engine assembly, testing, painting and major overhauls, the UK-based company said.

The MTU engines are the largest and most powerful MTU diesel engines with a power output of up to 10 MW, it said, adding that they are fitted onboard all Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) recently constructed or currently under-construction in India.


This includes eleven Coast Guard OPVs by GSL (six completed and five under construction), five Naval OPVs under construction at Reliance Defence Engineering and seven Coast Guard OPVs by L&T.

"Since main diesel engines constitute the heart of a ship and are among the major high value imported equipment items onboard ships, the collaboration will aid to significantly increase the indigenous content onboard ships constructed in India," GSL Chairman & MD Shekhar Mital said.

He said it will also provide a strategic edge to Indian defence sector as know-how and infrastructure for such niche technology will now be available with a PSU shipyard, which can be gainfully utilised by the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard.

"Under the agreement, we will be catering for marine propulsion requirements within the country in the range of 7 to 10 MW. The new facility being created by GSL will also undertake all major overhauls of these engines," he said.

"The agreement with GSL to manufacture MTU's most-advanced Series 8000 engines in India is a significant milestone and further reinforces our commitment to 'Make in India.' We have been working with the Indian defence sector for several decades and our well-proven MTU engines propel and power many vessels of both the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy," MTU India Director & CEO PraveenNSE 0.00 % Mohan said.

These are the top-selling propulsion engines in their power class for naval vessels. They are also proven in ferries and yachts and have altogether completed over one million operating hours, the statement said.

@Abingdonboy @Parthu @Ankit Kumar @Amal
 

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Tata Lockheed Martin opens new Hyd facility

Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL), a joint venture between Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Lockheed Martin, on Wednesday launched metal-to-metal bonding facility in Hyderabad, a first in the country.

The metal-to-metal bonding facility, spread over 4,700 square metres, would add cutting-edge capability to the Indian aerospace industry and enable TASL to use this technology across manufacturing programmes for complex aerostructure productions and increased indigenisation. More than 80 skilled employees will work in this facility, which can be expanded further, the company said in a release.

TLMAL is also increasing the indigenisation of C-130 manufacturing by transitioning the production of approximately 2,000 previously imported empennage parts to Tata Sikorsky Aerospace Ltd, another Tata-Lockheed Martin JV. These parts were previously manufactured by suppliers located outside of India. The new facility and capacity expansion are expected to create new job opportunities for skilled workers in India’s manufacturing sector.

“Given the C-130J’s worldwide presence, it is fitting that one of its core components is the result of a strong global partnership that we have with India, Tata and TLMAL,” said George Shultz, VP & GM, Air Mobility and Maritime Missions, Lockheed Martin, after inaugurating the facility.

“We are delighted to expand the scope of our partnership with Lockheed Martin, a testament of TASL’s increasing capabilities in complex aerostructure manufacturing. It is a matter of pride that aerostructure components manufactured at our Indian facility are an integral part of the world’s most successful and advanced tactical air-lifter, which is also being used by the Indian Air Force,” said Sukaran Singh, MD & CEO, TASL.
 
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