India's R&D in Defence DRDO, PSUs and Private Sector

Vipul
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Postby Vipul » 11 Jun 2007 18:26

Godrej has big plans for military hardware biz.

MUMBAI: The $1.7 billion Godrej Group plans to give a major push to its military equipment supply business, even as the government moves toward creating a level-playing field to private sector in manufacturing defence hardware.

"We are already in nuclear and space technology and... now plan to vigorously pursue the defence business where we scent immense potential," Group Chairman Adi Godrej said.

Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Company Ltd is already a supplier of airframe sections for the Brahmos missile, besides equipment for satellite launchpace Research Organisation.

The group also supplies equipment for the nuclear sector, both civilian and military and equipment for refineries.

The group, whose revenues in 2006-07 touched $1.7 billion, expects huge earnings from the nuclear business once the Indo-US civil nuclear deal is cleared.

Plans to pursue the defence supply business come days after the government shortlisted 13 private firms for granting the status of Rakshya Udyog Ratna.

The list was handed over to Defence Minister A K Antony by Probir Sengupta, the chairman of the government-appointed selection committee, on June 6.

Though it was not clear which firms made it to the list, such a status will pave the way for them to easily access foreign technology and collaboration to make sophisticated military hardware.

It will also allow them to bid on par with state-run ordnance factories for military systems contracts.

Asked about the group's future plans, Godrej declined to give details, saying "it will not be appropriate for me to unveil the full plan as it is a sensitive matter."

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Postby Kartman » 11 Jun 2007 22:29

JCage wrote:
SriSri wrote:While I don't really believe in appearances, just viewing the websites or visiting the offices will tell a story.


This is mistaken - websites and "offices" dont tell the story (especially when there is no marketing org for DRDO and there are hardly huge funds to upgrade the buildings and make them spiffy) , the products do- its a leitmotif in India that Govt is = free ticket and inefficiency and private sector= drive. On the contrary, I know people who work over the weekends regularly in GOI labs for the pittance that they get, whereas the private sector chaps in MNC spend the weekend getting tipsy! Stereotypes cut both ways.


To add a small point to this whole issue of stereotypes...

Seems to me that most people who have visited DRDO labs or offices of well-run PSUs don't go beyond the administrative offices to the technical areas. The admin offices are, well, (at least at the places I've seen) typical of the GoI stereotype with piles of files, grey Godrej almirahs, the noisy Khaitan fan on the ceiling, half the clerks busy having with chai and samosas (lazy fly droning its way toward the samosas), while the other half are busy typing equipment requisition forms in triplicate, Rashtrabhasha protsahan adhikaris* :P
An equivalent private sector admin office would, of course, be much better run, with PYTs running around looking busy 8)

To see the real thing, you have to go beyond this layer and see the technical areas, with their equipment and staff...

* For non-Hindi speakers, Rashtrabhasha protsahan adhikari = National Language (Hindi) Promotion Officer

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Postby Singha » 11 Jun 2007 22:38

per a friend of mine in ... not all DRDO labs are the same. ADA , DARE, CAIR, parts of HAL, LRDE are considered "good" while GTRE is perceived as "go take rest and enjoy" ....

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Postby Shankar » 11 Jun 2007 22:58

My limited exposure to DRDO - technical area beyond office - too secretive -making any kind useful exchange of information which would allow a good system to be developed effectively quickly very very difficult even if you find ways to get past the time wasting procedures ingrained in the system.With the private sector units taking lead atleast in special areas hopefully this will change .

Some exceptions are there but only a few .Every time I had a chance to interact came out a bit flustered after second or third meet knowing the proposal that took me hours to make including background research into the system where it is going and after hours of explaining why it will be good for our armed forces like it is being used in developed countries and all that ,back of my mind I know it will never be implemented ,just discussed and then a file in the old almirahs

Then one looses interest in the project itself and you just dont feel like interacting on the subject anymore .Just hope all DRDO units are not like that

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Postby Kartman » 12 Jun 2007 00:58

Shankar wrote:My limited exposure to DRDO - technical area beyond office - too secretive -making any kind useful exchange of information which would allow a good system to be developed effectively quickly very very difficult even if you find ways to get past the time wasting procedures ingrained in the system.With the private sector units taking lead atleast in special areas hopefully this will change .


While indeed the labyrinthine procurement/clearance processes might take much more time relative to the private sector, they account for a fairly small proportion of the total development time...

The same way that the over-staffing (with Trade Union support to boot) in non-technical personnel has a limited budgetary effect on the capital-intensive R&D budgets...

Just wanted to draw attention to the controlling factors in time and cost overruns... though this is not to state that DRDO should not improve on these fronts (though, from my understanding, they have fairly little political and other elbowroom for such things)

Some exceptions are there but only a few .Every time I had a chance to interact came out a bit flustered after second or third meet knowing the proposal that took me hours to make including background research into the system where it is going and after hours of explaining why it will be good for our armed forces like it is being used in developed countries and all that ,back of my mind I know it will never be implemented ,just discussed and then a file in the old almirahs


Lucky for you you don't work for some of the Fortune 500 R&D labs, then ... the way they approve/cancel projects would give our CAG folks dyspepsia :P

Then one looses interest in the project itself and you just dont feel like interacting on the subject anymore .Just hope all DRDO units are not like that


Welcome to the real world 8)

A Sharma
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Postby A Sharma » 12 Jun 2007 08:53

BEL site has been updated with more info about products.

LINK II SYSTEM

Shankar
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Postby Shankar » 12 Jun 2007 11:03

Lucky for you you don't work for some of the Fortune 500 R&D labs, then ... the way they approve/cancel projects would give our CAG folks dyspepsia Razz


well that is another extreme -like when i had go thru 6 seperate smart lock equipped gates escorted and all after gate security check and reception for a forune 500 Rand D Lab which researches on you will not believe shampoo and ice cream (correct freezing temp)

Compared to that DRDO labs are worth going only one way -you get to see the Agni of a trailer (real one) or a prithvi being tried out on a TEL or a bunch of akash lying somewhere and if you are convincing and lucky enough get to see them from touching distance and may be the guys will answer some of your detailed queries

So BRfites like me dont feel all dejected while comming out even if dont get any business to cover the trip

Like I said many times before ISRO the best of all PSU s followed by IGCAR -HAL - BARC DRDO
in that order

The ressults are for all to see for themselves purely from an output point of view

Raju

Postby Raju » 12 Jun 2007 17:45

FDI in Defence sector

Commerce Ministry proposes 50% FDI in Defence PSU's.

This is up from 26% until now.

FIPB approval is mandatory for investments into Defence PSU.

This could give foreign entities a controlling stake in Defence PSU's.

PSU's like HAL, BEML, BEL, Bharat Dynamics could be on the block.


Times Now

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Postby karthik » 13 Jun 2007 19:31

Raju wrote:FDI in Defence sector

Commerce Ministry proposes 50% FDI in Defence PSU's.

This is up from 26% until now.

FIPB approval is mandatory for investments into Defence PSU.

This could give foreign entities a controlling stake in Defence PSU's.

PSU's like HAL, BEML, BEL, Bharat Dynamics could be on the block.


Times Now


Actually this is big news, wonder why no one is debating it.

IMO this is a good idea as it will bring in loads of new technology and get some long standing jobs done. The cons would be how these MNCs influence our independence and foreign policy.

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Postby mandrake » 13 Jun 2007 19:49

Actually I'm very much against so much FDI specially for HAL, there is no way this will come true unless the FDI is dependent on platform basis, like why the hell wouldf we ask FDI for LCH?

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Postby Juggi G » 14 Jun 2007 08:25

More Quit DRDO than Join, Applications Fall by 70% in Three Years
Indian Express
[quote]More Quit DRDO than Join, Applications Fall by 70% in Three Years
Ganesh Pandey

Posted online: Thursday, June 14, 2007

ALARM: DRDO’s BrainWave: Hike Salaries Six-Fold, need more Benefits, Perks, including Sabbatical, Royalty

Image

New Delhi, June 13
: Tucked away in a representation made to the Sixth Central Pay Commission by the Defence Research and Development Organisation are startling new figures that confirm how DRDO is not only unable to retain talent — it’s also not being able to attract it.

Records obtained by The Indian Express show that last year, the latest for which data is available, the number of scientists who resigned from the organization touched an all-time high of 321. Most of them were young scientists from the electronics and computer disciplines. While several factors have been cited, a majority of the scientists who have resigned attribute it to better career opportunities elsewhere and lack of professional challenge.

In fact, 2006 is the first year that the number of resignations at DRDO has surpassed the number of inductions, 300. In other words, induction is not keeping pace with attrition resulting in a significant shortfall of trained scientists.

This isn’t surprising given the steady fall in the number of applications to what is considered the government’s premier defence research institution — in 2003, while total applicants numbered 110,224, in 2006, that figure came down to less than a third of that: 31,810.

The DRDO’s representation to the Pay Commission underlines the need to build an efficient and talented pool of scientists dedicated for a minimum of 15 to 20 years considering the long gestation period for developing defence-warfare systems. Advocating more “freedom, flexibility and opportunities for self-developmentâ€

Raju

Postby Raju » 14 Jun 2007 08:44

karthik wrote:
Raju wrote:FDI in Defence sector

Commerce Ministry proposes 50% FDI in Defence PSU's.

This is up from 26% until now.

FIPB approval is mandatory for investments into Defence PSU.

This could give foreign entities a controlling stake in Defence PSU's.

PSU's like HAL, BEML, BEL, Bharat Dynamics could be on the block.


Times Now


Actually this is big news, wonder why no one is debating it.

IMO this is a good idea as it will bring in loads of new technology and get some long standing jobs done. The cons would be how these MNCs influence our independence and foreign policy.


Everyone is debate weary after all the nuclear debates. Probably that is exactly the idea, to lower the guard and go under the radar.

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Postby sum » 14 Jun 2007 08:45

in 2003, while total applicants numbered 110,224, in 2006, that figure came down to less than a third of that: 31,810.

Truely shocking!!!!!! :shock: :shock:

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Postby gopal.suri » 14 Jun 2007 11:45

321 resignations is peanuts in one year. Actually this is favorable figure. 1% of DRDO strength?

:P For IT companies to get this kind of figure, its a dream.

sum
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Postby sum » 14 Jun 2007 11:59

But the number of people applying falling by a third in 3 yrs!!!!!!!!!thats pretty bad....
If this is the case with DRDO(still considered pretty good option by many),wonder how bad it is for the defence forces(with easy jobs,why would the "bright" people want to slug it out physically)!!!

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Postby gopal.suri » 14 Jun 2007 12:38

Number of people applying for private sector jobs is falling too. There is a general shortage of "qualified manpower" in the economy.

But DRDO needs less than 1000 of the candidates.

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Postby SriSri » 14 Jun 2007 12:56

karthik wrote:
Raju wrote:FDI in Defence sector

Commerce Ministry proposes 50% FDI in Defence PSU's.

This is up from 26% until now.

FIPB approval is mandatory for investments into Defence PSU.

This could give foreign entities a controlling stake in Defence PSU's.

PSU's like HAL, BEML, BEL, Bharat Dynamics could be on the block.


Times Now


Actually this is big news, wonder why no one is debating it.

IMO this is a good idea as it will bring in loads of new technology and get some long standing jobs done. The cons would be how these MNCs influence our independence and foreign policy.


Actually there is a lot of fineprint involved here. The foreign investor can only invest in manufacturing and is subject to approval by the FIPB.

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Postby SriSri » 15 Jun 2007 11:46

I've started writing a bit these days; it had never been my forte but being one of the main decision makes of the site helps me get my papers published easily! :D

Underlining parts of interest.

India Defence & Security Roundup - May-June 2007
http://www.india-defence.com/reports-3309

India Defence & Security Roundup for Summer 2007. This edition focuses on events that have occurred in May, June 2007. The topics covered are reforms in the defense sector, armed forces watch and the security situation in Kashmir.

Evolving Defence Sector
Economic reforms seem to have finally arrived in the Indian Defence Sector as major reformist decisions seem to be imminent. The Government is all set to allow up to 50% of FDI in Defence PSUs. The existing FDI cap in the sector was 26%. However foreign investors can only avail this in defence manufacturing. 50% FDI means that the foreign investor could have a controlling stake in the entity. All investments are subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

Furthermore the Government is to grant Raksha Udyog Ratna Status to top private firms as per the recommendations of the Kelkar Committee. The RUR Status would entitle the private defence firm to all benefits, concessions and rights enjoyed by Defence PSU's. However while the Private RUR Defence Firm can tie up with foreign partners the cap, the FDI cap will be 26% as opposed to the FDI cap of 50% (mentioned above) to be enjoyed by Defence PSU's, thus inevitably making Defence PSU's more attractive to potential foreign partners.

Nevertheless being awarded the RUR Status will be a big breakthrough for firms such as Tata Motors, Godrej & Boyce, Mahindra & Mahindra, L&T, Ashok Leyland, Bharat Forge eager to dig in to the growing Indian Defence Sector.

Amidst signs of growing competition, DRDO is in the process of reforming HR policies to make itself attractive to the brightest talent India has to offer. DRDO's Recruitment and Assessment Centre proposes "possibility of super fast track promotions and sabbaticals". The main challenges being faced by the DRDO however is not attracting talent but retaining it and these measures seem to be geared towards overcoming that.

Armed Forces Watch
Not to be outdone by the DRDO, the Indian Army too is introducing new selection procedures. And the emphasis for the Indian Army seems to be not just physical and mental aspects but also the psychological condition of the candidate. The Army hopes to implement the same during the 11th Five-Year Plan.

An ambitious investment of the Army will be in the F-INSAS Programme (Future Infantry Soldier as a System). Similar to the U.S. FCS (Future Combat System) Programme the F-INSAS will train futuristic soldiers, equipped with latest weaponry, communication network and instant access to information on the battlefield.

The Indian Air Force too is to evolve as a "Technology Intensive, Dominant Aerospace Force" said the Hon. Defence Minister while inaugurating the three-day long Air Force Commanders' Conference held in May. IAF is also set to begin the induction of Hawk Trainers in the first quarter of 2008; while the first squadron of HAL's Light Combat Aircraft Tejas fighter jets is to be deployed in Tamil Nadu by 2010.

The Air Force's Mirage 2000 fleet, which boasts of 50+ fighter jets, will be upgraded by the French Defence major Dassault for US $800 million. There will be upgrades in avionics, advanced display sets, EW Systems, Smart small munitions, Fuel capacity, BVR missiles and flight mission simulators.

The Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta announced the induction of upto 40 new ships into the Navy in the next 'few' years, while ambiguity over delays in Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya's (Admiral Gorskhov's) delivery by Russia still prevail. Russian media reports a delay of up to two years (2010) while Indian Navy confirms only a "three to four" month delay.

Kashmir Heats Up This Summer
General Musharraf made yet another routine "landmark announcement" by declaring on 5th June to withdraw Pakistani troops from the Line Of Control; though the troops weren't withdrawn, this comment certainly was by the Foreign Affairs spokesperson Taslima Aslam.

The summer has seen the infiltration rise significantly. There have been atleast twelve occasions in the two month period where Pakistani terrorists have been busted either in the Valley or while trying to infiltrate across the LoC. The Army has also been successful in seizing arms/munitions from the hideouts and, as the trend has been for a while now, almost all of the arms used by the terrorists recovered by the security forces are of Chinese origin.

Army Chief General J.J. Singh on 6th June highlighted the fact that there still were elements within the Pakistan Army aiding the infiltration process. This despite the Indian Defence Minister terming the rise in infiltration as a "seasonal occuring". Apparently there seems to be a hint of tolerance to terrorist infiltration. The Government should continue to hold General Musharraf accountable to the pledge he made.

GPS Guided Infiltration
Emerging are reports of Army Officers confirming the use of simple GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) devices by the terrorists to help cross the LoC. A GPS device can be as small as a mobile phone and is available for as little As Rs 3,000-5,000. The Army on the ground still doesn't have the capabilities to monitor GPS based communications.

The Army is using mines as a short term counter measure against the GPS guided attempts; but a complete blockade of the signal or the ability to listen in, obfuscate or corrupt the signal would be the only long term solution to the challenge posed by it. This would also be of concern to the United States as once again the Pakistan Army channels American military aid from the War on Al-Qaeda to its Proxy War against India.

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Postby JCage » 15 Jun 2007 15:54

Economic reforms seem to have finally arrived in the Indian Defence Sector as major reformist decisions seem to be imminent. The Government is all set to allow up to 50% of FDI in Defence PSUs. The existing FDI cap in the sector was 26%. However foreign investors can only avail this in defence manufacturing. 50% FDI means that the foreign investor could have a controlling stake in the entity. All investments are subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

Furthermore the Government is to grant Raksha Udyog Ratna Status to top private firms as per the recommendations of the Kelkar Committee. The RUR Status would entitle the private defence firm to all benefits, concessions and rights enjoyed by Defence PSU's. However while the Private RUR Defence Firm can tie up with foreign partners the cap, the FDI cap will be 26% as opposed to the FDI cap of 50% (mentioned above) to be enjoyed by Defence PSU's, thus inevitably making Defence PSU's more attractive to potential foreign partners.


Can I ask where the figures for these are from?

I think there seems to be some misunderstanding in the posts here. The GOI had set up a process wherein JV's could have a max of 26% FDI. This cap has been hiked to 50%.

That does not mean that the PSUs themselves can have 50% FDI in themselves. The PSUs will remain GOI through and through.

Furthermore, there is an additional model wherein new companies set up can be GoCo PM - Govt owned, private managed for initial start up, with more responsibility and stakeholder share picked up by the private managers over time.

Please be clear about this- these reports can have major repurcussions if misread.

Next we will have another wave of commie protests about selling out the PSUs and derailing the plan for JVs.

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Postby MN Kumar » 15 Jun 2007 17:44

The Air Force's Mirage 2000 fleet, which boasts of 50+ fighter jets, will be upgraded by the French Defence major Dassault for US $800 million. There will be upgrades in avionics, advanced display sets, EW Systems, Smart small munitions, Fuel capacity, BVR missiles and flight mission simulators.


When was this deal signed? I think its still under the negotiations process.

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Postby SriSri » 15 Jun 2007 21:46

JCage wrote:
Economic reforms seem to have finally arrived in the Indian Defence Sector as major reformist decisions seem to be imminent. The Government is all set to allow up to 50% of FDI in Defence PSUs. The existing FDI cap in the sector was 26%. However foreign investors can only avail this in defence manufacturing. 50% FDI means that the foreign investor could have a controlling stake in the entity. All investments are subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

Furthermore the Government is to grant Raksha Udyog Ratna Status to top private firms as per the recommendations of the Kelkar Committee. The RUR Status would entitle the private defence firm to all benefits, concessions and rights enjoyed by Defence PSU's. However while the Private RUR Defence Firm can tie up with foreign partners the cap, the FDI cap will be 26% as opposed to the FDI cap of 50% (mentioned above) to be enjoyed by Defence PSU's, thus inevitably making Defence PSU's more attractive to potential foreign partners.


Can I ask where the figures for these are from?

I think there seems to be some misunderstanding in the posts here. The GOI had set up a process wherein JV's could have a max of 26% FDI. This cap has been hiked to 50%.

That does not mean that the PSUs themselves can have 50% FDI in themselves. The PSUs will remain GOI through and through.

Furthermore, there is an additional model wherein new companies set up can be GoCo PM - Govt owned, private managed for initial start up, with more responsibility and stakeholder share picked up by the private managers over time.

Please be clear about this- these reports can have major repurcussions if misread.

Next we will have another wave of commie protests about selling out the PSUs and derailing the plan for JVs.


Of course the FDI caps were for the JV's with the foreign partners. Isn't that implied? In fact FDI is only possible if the JV is involved in manufacturing alone.

When was this deal signed? I think its still under the negotiations process.

Hmm.. I think May archives.

Disclaimer: Writing is not my forte. :-/

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Postby SriSri » 15 Jun 2007 21:49

I've particularly specified JV's with PSU's. JCage, I should send you my stuff for proof reading now on. :oops:

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Postby JaiS » 17 Jun 2007 07:52

Don't know if this will be archived, so posting in full

Dr Prahlad: "DRDO technologies comparable with world-class technologies."
http://www.domain-b.com/aero/20070616_drdo.htm


1. So far, the year 2007 has thrown up happy results for the DRDO. What significance do the successful tests of the Agni III, Astra, Trishul and the BrahMos hold for the country's missile programme?

Yes, many successful flight tests have taken place in the recent past. These tests are indeed significant, as the design, fabrication, development, integration and testing capabilities of the DRDO, and also those of its partner Indian companies, can now be said to be comparable with world-class technologies.

These tests have also shown that our teams are now capable of understanding the performance of sophisticated systems, analyzing failures and evolving solutions. The increasing sophistication has also increased the confidence levels within our own aerospace community significantly.

A significant offshoot of the successful tests is also the fact that there is now a heightened respect for Indian capabilities in the aerospace sector within the international community.

At an organizational level, these tests are also significant for the favourable impression that they have created in the minds of the public, and in the national media, about the DRDO.

2. With the recently concluded exercise 'Ashwamedh,' the Indian Army may perhaps have conducted its most tech-intensive war games ever. As war doctrines of the armed forces transform in line with the tech-intensive environment of modern warfare, how do you foresee the DRDO keeping pace with their requirements?

Ashwamedh is a tactical exercise of the Indian Army and the DRDO does not have much of a role to play in operational activities.

However, DRDO-developed and produced items, such as electronic warfare systems, the Arjun main battle tank and other communication equipment have been used in this exercise. They have performed well.

3. An aerospace command for the defence forces would appear to have been approved 'in-principle' by the Government. Could you outline some of the constituent elements of such a command? How far is the DRDO already down the road in terms of developing technologies and systems for such a command?

The Indian Air Force is spearheading the move to establish an aerospace command for the defence services. As such, an aerospace command would evolve only after obtaining the views, and concurrence, of all the three defence services, the para-military forces, the Coast Guard, the Department of Space, the Home Ministry etc.

However, the final confirmation for establishing such a command is yet to be received.

As of now, the DRDO has no role to play in the process of establishing a separate aerospace command.

4. All of DRDO's recent successes appear to have been in the aerospace sector. Could you talk about the efforts being made by the organization to develop systems in other sectors?

Though the DRDO's achievements in the aerospace sector, such as those with missiles and aircraft, appears glamorous and appeals to the mind of the general public, the DRDO has also made significant contributions in other disciplines.

There are a number of significant areas where DRDO developed equipment and systems have been accepted, and inducted for service, by the three defence services.

List of some of the important systems accepted for service by the defence services: -

* Electronic Warfare systems for the Army, the Air Force and the Navy.
* Ship and Submarine based sonar systems for the Navy
* Torpedoes for the Navy
* Radar systems for the Army, the Navy and the Air Force
* Bridging equipment and systems for the Army
* Parachute and arrester barriers for the three Services
* NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) equipment for the three Services
* Many products of Life Sciences for the three Services
* Materials for strategic applications
* Hyperbaric chamber for Navy
* Terrain data and intelligence for the Army
* Small arms and ammunition for the three Services
* Communication and C4I systems for Army

5. Former chief of Army staff, General Shankar Roy Choudhary, once had occasion to remark that he had placed the orders for the Arjun MBT to help expedite the process of industrialization of indigenously developed technologies. In the light of its performance during the recently concluded Ex-Ashwamedh could you talk about the Arjun MBT as a fighting system? From a historical perspective, could you also touch upon the issues that have been involved in making a system like the Arjun see the light of day?

The Arjun main battle tank (MBT) has been customized, and built, exclusively for the Indian Army and for Indian battlefield conditions. The Arjun MBT has a combination of unique features that make it a very powerful combat system. Some of these are listed below:-

* Superior firepower, using an indigenous 120 mm rifled gun as well as ammunition
* High mobility
* Excellent protection, thanks to the special steel and composite armour
* Hydro-pneumatic suspension for a smooth ride
* Modern gun control system, which provides fire-on-the-move capability even against moving targets
* Missile firing capability through the gun barrel
* Integrated Fire Control System
* Stabilised Thermal Sight

The Arjun MBT is now under serial production at the Heavy Vehicle Factory, Chennai. All the Tier II and III vendors have been identified, and cleared, for quality supply.

By 2009, a total of 124 tanks will be produced and delivered. Further orders may be made for the tank by the end of 2007.


6. With a sub-surface version of the BrahMos reportedly ready for testing, and one for Agni-III already being talked about, questions naturally arise about the 'platform' that India will field to launch such systems? Isn't it time that the defence establishment was more forthcoming about the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project? Could you elaborate on this issue?

No comment.


7. As compared to larger enterprises, how well is the country's small and medium sector represented proportionately in the country's defence projects? What is the level of commitment that they have shown towards R&D work? What are the benefits that they have derived from taking up piece-meal DRDO contracts and how far have these contracts helped them in building up in-house capabilities?

Some 800 small and medium sector companies are part of a national network involved in the development, production and delivery of components, modules and sub-systems for defence sector projects. About 40% of DRDO's budget, and 10% of the ministry of defence (MoD) budget, reaches the small and medium sector industries.

Out of 800 companies, at least 200 are highly committed, enthusiastic and techno-savvy companies that have already made a mark, not just in the defence sector, but also in other sectors of the Indian market.

Around 100 of these companies are already under contract with multi-national entities, partnering in programmes related to development and production. Many of these companies have already begun production work for their foreign partners, mainly on the strength of technology acquired through their interactions with the DRDO earlier.

8. What kind of R&D and manufacturing capabilities have the country's defence PSU's, such as HAL, BEL, BHEL etc built up over the years?

Most of the public sector companies have an R&D setup of their own, which are mostly involved in aiding the main manufacturing activity of the company. Mainly, these units are involved in resolving design, up-gradation, modifications and manufacturing problems of their parent units.

They also work on new products as per the requirements of the main company.

Sometimes, they provide the interface with DRDO teams for proper transfer of technology.

9. What kind of an opportunity awaits big players from the country's private sector in the defence sector? Do you think the big boys in the private sector have shown any inclination to prepare themselves to play a role in this area, leaving aside a honourable exception or two?

The ministry of defence is trying to identify big companies that can become lead system integrators, and also take responsibility for serial production. These industries will be termed as Raksha Udyog Ratnas (RURs).

A committee under the chairmanship of Mr Probir Sen Gupta, former Secretary (Defence Production) has forwarded its recommendations on this matter to the ministry for consideration and acceptance.

The RUR concept will provide an opportunity for the big players to play a very major role in the production of defence systems.

In addition, the ministry of industries has also certified more than 30 large size private sector companies for the production of certain specific defence systems. These companies have been provided licenses for the manufacture and production of items for the ministry of defence. Even here, these large companies have an opportunity to contribute to the security of the country.

10. The 'offset' regime, when and if it comes into play, should likely see the induction of technologies and capabilities into the country. Could you elaborate on how you foresee such a 'regime' developing?

A considerable amount of discussion has taken place regarding the offset mechanism, and how such a provision can be leveraged for the induction of new technological capabilities into the country.

Initially, offsets may be used by companies for the manufacture and assembly of defence systems within the country. Eventually, the arrangement will be expanded to include technology packages. DRDO has already drawn up a list of technology gaps that exist within the country that needs to be addressed at the earliest.

An integrated approach by the MoD is likely to emerge, which will leverage offset provisions for the benefit of the country.

11. The involvement of the private sector in defence related contracts and projects also raises attendant issues, such as future acquisitions of these companies by others (even foreign ones), sale and transfer of technologies, patents, confidentiality of contracts etc. Could you touch upon these issues?

The Government of India is addressing the issue of merger and acquisitions of Indian companies by foreign MNCs and trying to evolve certain protective mechanisms. These mechanisms will take care of all eventualities where critical, and strategically sensitive, companies need to be protected from acquisitions by other entities.

Currently, necessary clauses to protect the interests of the ministry of defence are being incorporated in the MoU's and contracts.

12. Attracting and retaining technical talent in any field is already a global problem. Reports would suggest that the DRDO has suffered considerable attrition in terms of 'brain power' over the past few years. Could you clarify what impact such attrition may have had on the functioning of your organization? How do you intend to address the issue?

As of now, the DRDO is inducting about 500 scientists every year. Though it loses about 100 of these numbers by way of attrition, it still manages to carry out most of its activities as far as design and development work is concerned.

There are, of course, some pockets where the lack of specialists is being acutely felt. In these areas we are also accessing talent from the private sector to fill up the gaps.

On many occasions, DRDO scientists work with private sector companies engaged in activities of a similar nature, such as those in signal processing, image processing, computational aerodynamics, structural design and analysis, heat transfer, mechanical design, antenna design, digital computers, micro controllers etc.

With private companies assuming greater responsibility, and picking up tasks of increasing complexity, DRDO is able to manage its activities.

DRDO is already allowing the ministry of defence to place direct orders with companies for technologically matured and less complex defence systems under the MAKE clause of the Defence Procurement Procedure.

Thus, companies are now sharing DRDO's workload right from the design and development stage.

13. Briefly, would you comment on the status of the Akash and Trishul SAM systems, their features and effectiveness?

Akash SAM System
Akash is a medium range, mobile, multi-target handling, air defence, surface to air missile system. With the successful completion of the development work and the flight-testing phase, the system has now been offered to both the Army and the Air Force for user trials.

The first phase, in which the functionality of the system was tested, has been completed near Bangalore. The second phase, in which the system's mobility and certain other functional efficacies are to be verified, is being conducted at Pokhran in the month of June 2007. This will be followed by flight trials at Balasore in July 2007.

Both the Army and the Air Force are expected to confirm orders, once user trials are over. These orders will pave the way for the induction of the Akash Weapon System

Trishul SAM System
Trishul is a low-level, quick reaction, short-range, surface-to-air missile system, which has completed all development work with respect to flight trials. The Air Force has been requested to order certain quantities so that the complete development and manufacturing effort gets utilized.

Considering that Trishul's development took much longer than what was planned, and also, given the fact that the Army, the Air Force and the Navy had to meet their immediate needs, the import of foreign missile systems was allowed to cater to their operational requirements.

The Indian Air Force, being a large customer, has agreed to induct a certain minimum number of the Trishul system for its air defence activities.

14. The massive revamp and acquisition drive by the defence forces has resulted in a sudden influx of global arms majors into the country and it would be easy to argue that a systematic effort is under way to undermine the country's indigenous R&D effort and ease the path for foreign contractors. How would you address such an issue?

Definitely, various foreign companies in the country are vying to capture the Indian defence market and do as much of business as possible. This is natural, considering the fact that the global defence market is shrinking, and the fact that India is a leading importer of defence systems.

However, the stand taken by the ministry of defence is that a country of India's size, and importance, cannot continue to depend on foreign designed and produced defence systems eternally. The country has to rely on indigenously designed, developed and produced defence systems which would ensure that the security of the nation will remain assured under all circumstances and geo-political situations.

In addition to strategic areas, there are critical defence systems, such as electronic warfare systems, network centric operations, air defence and missile defence, surveillance system etc. where it is mandatory to have these systems designed and integrated indigenously in order to ensure utmost secrecy, confidentiality and security.

This message has reached all sectors of the MoD.

15. Inevitably, there is a need for collaboration and purchase of defence related systems and technologies from other countries, if we are to leapfrog some stages, and save on time. If so, what kind of a collaborative environment is the DRDO looking at? In particular, what are the collaborative projects where work has already been initiated or very likely to start?

Brahmos is the first major effort in collaborative R&D. Such efforts are going to increase in quality and numbers. The Government of India has also entered into understandings and agreements with many countries around the world, and defence cooperation is one of the important chapters.

In fact, most of the future defence systems would have some foreign collaboration, either at the sub-system or system level during design, development and manufacturing stages. Such cooperative activity can also lead to export to third countries.

The leading countries in such cooperative activities with India are Russia, Israel, France, USA, the UK and Germany


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Postby Sumeet » 17 Jun 2007 15:15

JaiS wrote:Don't know if this will be archived, so posting in full

Dr Prahlad: "DRDO technologies comparable with world-class technologies."
http://www.domain-b.com/aero/20070616_drdo.htm



6. With a sub-surface version of the BrahMos reportedly ready for testing, and one for Agni-III already being talked about, questions naturally arise about the 'platform' that India will field to launch such systems? Isn't it time that the defence establishment was more forthcoming about the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project? Could you elaborate on this issue?

No comment.


:) like that answer.

12. Attracting and retaining technical talent in any field is already a global problem. Reports would suggest that the DRDO has suffered considerable attrition in terms of 'brain power' over the past few years. Could you clarify what impact such attrition may have had on the functioning of your organization? How do you intend to address the issue?

......................

With private companies assuming greater responsibility, and picking up tasks of increasing complexity, DRDO is able to manage its activities.

............................

Thus, companies are now sharing DRDO's workload right from the design and development stage.


Thats a good way for these newbies to learn military grade complex system design.

14. The massive revamp and acquisition drive by the defence forces has resulted in a sudden influx of global arms majors into the country and it would be easy to argue that a systematic effort is under way to undermine the country's indigenous R&D effort and ease the path for foreign contractors. How would you address such an issue?


kudos to the journalist who put this question. answer should be forwarded to twits like shukla, aroor etc... esp the part where MoD has recognized the importance of existence of indigenous tech base in critical areas. message is clear: their rant won't effect our determination, now only if the air force & army become more cooperative; shukla types will beat their in agony.

15. Inevitably, there is a need for collaboration and purchase of defence related systems and technologies from other countries, if we are to leapfrog some stages, and save on time. If so, what kind of a collaborative environment is the DRDO looking at? In particular, what are the collaborative projects where work has already been initiated or very likely to start?


In fact, most of the future defence systems would have some foreign collaboration, either at the sub-system or system level during design, development and manufacturing stages. Such cooperative activity can also lead to export to third countries.


JC what do you say, does this absolves sengupta off passing most or all complex defence projects of india as carrying blessings of israel or russia ?

The leading countries in such cooperative activities with India are Russia, Israel, France, USA, the UK and Germany.


Russia: 5th generation fighter, MTA.
Israel: Barak-NG, Mayawi EW, UAVs.
France: Maitri LLQRM, Shakti engine.
Germany: MAWs sensors.
UK & US: don't know.

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Postby Sumeet » 17 Jun 2007 15:29

Modernise rapidly, Antony urges defence production companies

Ghaziabad: With research and development being the "key engine" for economic growth and development, India's defence production companies should "modernise rapidly" to match the changing threats to national security, Defence Minister A K Antony has said.


"In this age, when research and development (R&D) is a key engine for economic growth and development, the impact of globalisation demands increased responsiveness to meet threats to national security," Antony said while inaugurating a new research laboratory of state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in this suburban town.


Research and development increased technological competitiveness and enhanced capabilities for economic growth, the minister maintained, adding: "It is imperative that our defence production industries modernise rapidly to match the changing needs."


Noting that the armed forces of any nation would want to induct the most sophisticated defence equipment, the minister said: "At times, this cannot be achieved due to budgetary constraints and technology denial regimes."


This apart, increased reliance on imported weapons and systems "expose the country to the possibility of sudden cessation of supplies during critical stages.


"Therefore, our efforts have been focused towards promoting indigenous R&D," the minister said, adding: "We are also evolving procurement procedures to encourage indigenous industry - both in the public and private sectors - to enable them to play a larger role in meeting the defence needs of the country."


In this context, he noted that 30 licenses had been issued to private players to collaborate with state-owned defence production units.


At the same time, Antony urged the state-owned units "to step out of (their) protected environment and carve out a niche for themselves in the competitive market.

"Even for defence supplies, there will be many competitors coming up within India for the production of sophisticated items, largely in collaboration with foreign partners," he added.


The Rs 120 million Near Field Antenna Development and Test Centre that Antony inaugurated provides a development and testing platform for all types of antennae, including the indigenously developed phased array antenna that is an essential and major part of modern-day radars.

The indoor facility stimulates field conditions and occupies relatively lesser space as compared to a Far Field Antenna Field Facility.

"This facility is undoubtedly a step towards self-reliance in the field of modern radar systems," the minister noted.

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Postby sum » 18 Jun 2007 09:08

Recall hearing in the news that the setup was imported from israel??!!!

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Postby srai » 18 Jun 2007 11:03

Someone has been keeping this Wikipedia page quite up to date ... good overview with lots of info.

Defence Research and Development Organization
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DRDO

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Postby Rahul M » 18 Jun 2007 14:24

someone from here may be ?? guess who ?? :wink:

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Postby sum » 18 Jun 2007 14:33

Given the amount of details and time/care taken to complete the page,me guess its JCage onlee.......
any one differs?? :P

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Postby narmad » 21 Jun 2007 23:42

India to make advanced attack helicopter for J&K

According to HAL chairman and managing director Ashok Baweja, there were some good American, Russian and European helicopters available in the market but they were made of sheet metal and not designed to operate at heights over 8,000 metres.
HAL's new helicopter will be made of sophisticated composite materials that can withstand humidity and harsh climates much better than machines made from metals.
Powering HAL's helicopter, Baweja said, would be the "very powerful" Shakti engine that drives the indigenously developed Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) that has already entered service with the Indian armed forces.

Baweja also said HAL had received a request for proposal (RFP) from Chile for six Dhruv helicopters, and that two would also be supplied to Bolivia. Efforts were also on to win an order in Turkey.

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Postby kit » 22 Jun 2007 01:08

Are the upgrade deals subject to offsets as well ... so many upgrades going on .. costing billions of dollars

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Focus on Astra Microwave Pvt. Ltd. (AMPL)

Postby JaiS » 22 Jun 2007 07:12

Detailed article on AMPL

Buy Astra Microwave; target of Rs 195: Karvy


Astra Microwave is one of the few private sector companies engaged in designing and manufacturing of RF (Radio Frequency) and microwave subsystems used in defence, space and telecom applications. 60% of the company's revenues are from the defence segment, 25% from the space segment and the remaining 15% from the telecom segment.

Under the segment of missile electronics, AMPL provides guidance subsystems for various missiles. The company is currently working on 5 missiles; Akash, Astra, Trishul, Brahmos and Pechora.

Within radar applications, the company provides the Transmit/Receipt (T/R) module for several radars. The Battle Field Surveillance Radar (BFSR) on which the company did R&D got inducted in 2004. In FY06, the L Band/S Band radar got inducted for which the company has been providing a subsystem. The company received an order of Rs 236.8 million from the Defence Research Laboratory in March 2007 for the supply of the subsystem. This order is likely to get executed by March 2008.

The company has been doing R&D work on several other radars likes the Rajendra radar and CAR1100 from which it receives steady R&D revenues.

AMPL supplies a subsystem to BEL, Hyderabad which is undertaking the production of Electronic Warfare Applications. This EW application was developed by DRDL (Defence Research & Development Laboratory).and the technology was then transferred to BEL. This project steadily contributes close to Rs 50 million per annum to AMPL's revenues.

The company has also recently forayed into the avionics segment and has developed some amplifiers for Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) In the defence segment, induction of any product which APML has been working on will prove to be a significant driver of revenues.

The space segment is expected to contribute significantly to AMPL's topline. The company has on its books an order of Rs 450 million for the supply of T/R modules for the Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT) to be launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 2008.

AMPL has also signed an agreement with Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of Department of Space for the production and supply of the Automatic Weather Station (AWS) to be deployed in various parts of the country. The AWS was developed by ISRO and AMPL was involved in this development. The AWS is a data collection platform used to continuously record weather data like temperature, humidity, wind speed etc from different locations including remote areas. This data collected can be relayed to ISRO's INSAT satellites. This product is also required by the meteorological department of India.

With the government introducing the offset policy, APML is likely to benefit. The company is talks with certain foreign suppliers to form partnerships in this regard. The company is likely to partner with ELTA, an Israeli defence company. ELTA is likely to receive an order from the Ministry of Defence for the supply of radars. APML is likely to supply certain subsystems to ELTA for this order to execute their offset obligation. Larsen and Toubro is likely to be ELTA's offset partner for their hardware requirement.


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Re: Focus on Astra Microwave Pvt. Ltd. (AMPL)

Postby Kartman » 22 Jun 2007 14:06

JaiS wrote:Detailed article on AMPL

Buy Astra Microwave; target of Rs 195: Karvy


Under the segment of missile electronics, AMPL provides guidance subsystems for various missiles. The company is currently working on 5 missiles; Akash, Astra, Trishul, Brahmos and Pechora.

The company has been doing R&D work on several other radars likes the Rajendra radar and CAR1100 from which it receives steady R&D revenues.



Questions:
- what "guidance subsystems" did Astra supply for the Pechora ?
- what on earth is the CAR1100 ?

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Postby Vipul » 22 Jun 2007 19:14

ECIL’s big role in BrahMos.

HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad-based Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) has played a major role in the BrahMos system by supplying the Mobile Command Post (MCP) and the Mobile Autonomous Launcher (MAL).

ECIL and the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) were involved from the conceptual stage in the design, development, integration and software development of the prototype of the Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Information System (C4I).

“The prototype has undergone extensive evaluation and field trials and ECIL has emerged the prime production agency for the Weapon Complex,â€

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Postby Vipul » 22 Jun 2007 19:16

Raytheon, Tatas to work on electronics, avionics.

Defence major Raytheon plans to take forward its tie-up with Tata Power by focussing on electronic and avionic technologies that could be marketed globally, a top official of the US firm has said.

"We are in the process of getting US export licences that will allow us to work with Tata Power on specific projects," Wesley Motooka, vice president of Raytheon's Space and Airborne Systems, said at the Paris Air Show.

Raytheon - which established a tie-up in February with Tata Power, a key private player in India's defence sector - is evaluating the Indian firm's capabilities and estimating costs for joint projects that the two companies could work on, Motooka told PTI.

"We intend to bid for global markets," he said, without giving details of the specific projects that the two firms would work on.

As part of its efforts to identify potential Indian partners, Raytheon has carried out an industrial survey of 50 companies from the country and zeroed in on eight firms. "We studied their discipline and capabilities and had detailed discussions with them," Motooka said.

"After the deal with Tata, we are closing in (agreements) on couple more," he said, adding a tie-up between Raytheon and an Indian firm is likely to be completed by July.

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Postby A Sharma » 23 Jun 2007 07:19


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Postby JCage » 24 Jun 2007 05:18

Finally...

http://www.domain-b.com/industry/genera ... vratna.htm

BEL, HAL and PFC get `Navratna' status
23 June 2007

Mumbai: The government has conferred Navratna status on three PSUs – Bharat Electronics Ltd, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Power Finance Corporation – giving them more freedom in financial and administrative matters.

With the addition of three more companies, the navratna list has now expanded to 12 public sector units.


Speaking on the occasion of conferment of the coveted status on the three companies, finance minister P Chidambaram emphasised the government's commitment to strengthen public sector enterprises by giving them more autonomy.

He asked unlisted public sector companies to list on stock exchanges to unlock their true value.

These three PSUs will now be able to forge joint ventures both in India and abroad, which can be up to 15 per cent of their networth or Rs1,000 crore, whichever is lower, without taking prior permission of the administrative ministry.

The boards of these companies will also have the power to decide on merger and acquisitions.

Heavy industries minister Santosh Mohan Deb said four more PSUs – National Aluminium Company, National Mineral Development Corp, Power Grid Corp and Rural Electrification Corp – would also be given Navratna status as soon as they fill all the vacancies for independent directors.

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Postby anupmisra » 24 Jun 2007 05:31

narmad wrote:India to make advanced attack helicopter for J&K

Efforts were also on to win an order in Turkey.



If the advanced helicopter is sold to Turkey, how long do you think it will be before that technology is clandestinely shared with Pukistan?

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Postby vinayak_d » 24 Jun 2007 05:59

They are not selling LCH but plain unarmed dhruv's. Anyway lets see how the deals with Chile and Bolivia go.
Last edited by vinayak_d on 24 Jun 2007 06:02, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Vipul » 24 Jun 2007 18:00

BEML develops upgraded 1000HP engine for T-72 tanks.

The public sector `Mini Ratna' company has recently developed an upgraded engine for the T72 tank and has sent it the concerned officials for evaluation.

"Instead of the existing 780 hp engine, we have developed a 1,000 hp engine for the tank which makes it more powerful. We have given the proposal and it is currently under evaluation. The total cost of the project (upgrading the entire fleet of tanks) could be anywhere between Rs 4,500 crore and Rs 5,000 crore spread over the next four to five years," he said.

Another project that the company has undertaken is developing around 280 wheels and track driven vehicles for the Army. According to Mr Mohan, the delivery is to commence from 2009.


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