Following the ‘Make in India’ theme, BEL showcased a wide range of its capabilities at DefExpo 2018
Younis Ahmad Kaloo
Chennai: Determined to make India a defence manufacturing hub and an exporter, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) participated in the DefExpo 2018 showcasing capabilities across every sector of its business, launched new products and strengthened relations with its Indian partners.
The products displayed included radar and fire control systems, network centric systems, C4I systems, communication systems, missile systems, electronic warfare and avionics, anti-submarine warfare systems, naval systems, electro optics and laser systems, gun upgrades, tank electronics, home land security systems, technology modules, simulators, shelters and civilian products.
“Foreign delegations have shown keen interest in our products. As of now, BEL has nearly USD 100 million worth export orders. We are now looking at increasing our international presence and have got a big market to capture in coming years,” said CMD BEL M. V. Gowtama.
The missile system on display was Akash weapon system, which is one of the systems - BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and other military hardware and software - India is in talks with friendly nations for sale.
“We have been allowed to export to our friendly nations products such as Akash, which we are also offering to our own forces,” the CMD said at a press conference at the exhibition. Few days before DefExpo 2018, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman also talked about the export of the missile system at an event and said that the interest in Indian missile systems was growing and that her government was addressing it.
Pertinently, in January this year, Director General Army Air Defence (AAD), Lt. Gen. Parminder Singh Jaggi said the army is fully satisfied with Akash short-range surface-to-air missile (SRSAM) system. He also said, “The biggest advantage is it is a home-grown system”.
Radars displayed included 3D C/D band air surveillance radar (3D ASR), weapon locating radar, active electronically scanned array - battle field surveillance radar (AESA-BFSR), ground penetrating radar, through wall Radar, 3D low level light weight radar, surface surveillance radar and secondary radar (identification of friend or foe interrogator – IFFI MK XII). In electronic warfare and airborne category, BEL displayed modern electronic warfare system (VARUNA), manpack jammer, radar finger printing system (RFPS), avionics for light combat aircraft (LCA) – digital flight control computer (DFCC), air data computer (ADC), pylon interface box – inboard, outboard, laser (PIB-IB, OB, laser), stores interface box (SIB), function sensor display unit (FSDU), ground integrated payload processing unit (GIPPU), etc.
The products showcased in anti-submarine warfare systems sector included advanced composite communication system (ACCS) for naval platform, USHUS-2, HUMSA NG, hull mounted sonar-X, IAC MoD-C, SONAR DOME, advanced torpedo defence system (ATDS) - maareech and transducers.
This year’s edition of DefExpo held in Chennai from April 11 to 14 also proved to be a good platform for BEL to further cement its relations with Indian companies as indicated by two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) which were signed, one each with Mahindra Defence Systems and Larsen & Toubro (L&T). On the MoU signed with Mahindra Defence Systems, BEL stated that both companies were ‘committed to a long-term partnership through an MoU to jointly address emerging opportunities in the domestic market under the policy initiatives of the government of India like ‘Make in India’ and the Export Promotion Policy of the ministry of defence (MoD) to target the export market’.
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