Bharat Forge signs MoUs with foreign OEMs for indigenous defence production
On February 4, at the recently concluded DefExpo 2020, Baba Kalyani, Chairman, Kalyani Group, spoke about the company’s journey and transition in designing and manufacturing of defence equipment and their ambitions of venturing into different sectors within defence manufacturing in the coming years.
Kalyani expressed his desire for India to become an exporter and not remain only an importer of defence equipments. He also stated that the group aimed at becoming an artillery powerhouse by 2030, entering areas like digital and Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), nanotechnology, composites and embedded systems among others.
“We’re the world’s largest forging company today and we have tremendous repository of knowledge in the area of material, metallurgical processes and we have brought that to the fore in terms of building our capabilities in the area of artillery. In a short span of six years, we have created six artillery platforms, four of them have been tested at the ranges of the Indian armed forces and they have performed extremely well,” said Kalyani.
It was in 2012 that Bharat Forge entered into the defence arena and decided on manufacturing artillery guns. With their expertise in metallurgy, their foray into defence manufacturing did not seem far-fetched.
Kalyani Group started with procuring off-the-shelf 155/45mm Austrian gun. Eventually, they created a facility in Pune by importing an entire manufacturing line from Ruag, Switzerland which included tools, fixture, furnaces, etc.
The first artillery gun that they built was Bharat 52, a 155/52mm caliber gun, with a range exceeding 40 km. It was manufactured based on the needs of the Indian Army.
At DefExpo 2020, Bharat Forge Ltd (BFL), signed a slew of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and announced strategic collaborations with different global companies for indigenous production.
With General Atomics
The MoU that BFL signed with the General Atomics’ Electromagnetic Systems Group (GA-EMS) will address the requirements of Indian defence industry. They will also look for opportunities to develop and integrate power generation, storage, control and distribution technologies related to surface and undersea naval platforms and advanced projectiles for weapon system platforms.
Kalyani said that they had been working towards bringing niche technologies in the country with the aim of making India self-reliant in the defence vertical and that the working with General Atomics was a step towards developing new technologies and reducing imports.
Scott Forney, President of GA-EMS, said that they were looking forward to working with Bharat Forge in order to develop strategies for bringing advanced power, energy and weapon system capabilities to India in support of Indian defence initiatives.
With Dastan Corporation, Kyrgystan
The Dastan Corporation, Kyrgystan, and BFL will work together to develop torpedoes with advanced homing heads for shipborne and submarine platforms, used by the Indian Navy.
The two companies would be working for upgradation of CET-65E torpedoes and to participate in jointly identified and mutually agreeable opportunities and programmes related to the underwater weapon systems/product in India and other territories.
“We are very excited to enter the marine business segment. This collaboration brings together the manufacturing and technology excellence of two leading companies. We are looking forward to spread our footprint in this segment while working under the policy of ‘Make in India’,” said Baba Kalyani.
“The Stage-I of this project has been successfully completed at Dastan Corp. and between February to March 2020 we plan to proceed to the Stage-II, that is, to carry out environmental naval field tests in the Indian Ocean. We are hoping that successful results of these trials will enable us to carry out upgradation of all CET65 and TEST71 articles in operation with the Indian Navy,” said Talaybek Temiraliev Dastan Corporation President.
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