Indian Naval Discussion

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K Mehta
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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby K Mehta » 01 Apr 2010 18:35

^ INS Virat under going refit in CSL old image

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Pratik_S » 01 Apr 2010 18:37

Ohh, thanks for that.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Venu » 01 Apr 2010 18:37

Right. Its the venerable Virat.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Ankit Desai » 01 Apr 2010 18:37

Photo gallery of Missile destroyer INS Chennai launched

The Indian Navy launched a new warship, a missile destroyer in the Project-15 alpha class, at the Mazgaon Dock in Mumbai on Thursday
.

Elizabeth Antony, wife of Defence Minister AK Antony, launched the warship.



Ankit

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby K Mehta » 01 Apr 2010 18:39

INS Chennail launched
Pics from rediff
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Pics from DPR-hosted on http://ajaishukla.blogspot.com/ click on images for high-res
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arun
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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby arun » 02 Apr 2010 07:44

A return to the prosaic.

BHEL is looking to migrate upward from 76 mm naval guns.

Does anyone know who is being talked to and for what manner of naval gunnery ie: 100 mm or 130 mm?

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd seeks high-end naval gun ally

Neeraj Thakur / DNA
Friday, April 2, 2010 2:00 IST

New Delhi: State run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel) is expanding its portfolio in the defence sector. Bhel aims to supply higher version of super rapid gun mount (SRGM) naval guns to the ministry of defence.

Total revenue from this order could be in the range of Rs 4,000 crore to Rs 5,000 crore. The company is looking for a technology partner and expects to finalise one in the next 9-12 months.

“The defence ministry has given us the mandate to develop a higher version of SRGM guns. We need the technology for which we will tie up with some foreign player. A lot of players have approached us and we are doing the due diligence,” said B Prasada Rao, chairman and managing director, Bhel.

A senior executive of the company said technology available with European companies looks better than elsewhere in the world.

Therefore, Bhel may strike a deal with a European company, he said.

Bhel is currently using the technology of Oto Melara, an Italian company, to manufacture 76mm SRGM naval guns for the Indian Navy.

DNA

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby sumshyam » 02 Apr 2010 12:35

Coast Guard gets new patrol vessel

The vessel would also respond to exigencies of fishermen, he said.

It will also patrol the coastal areas in coordination with Customs and Marine Police, he said.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby somnath » 02 Apr 2010 17:54

nukavarapu wrote:Why are they always looking for foreign partner, there is no in house RnD at all ??? If not they can atleast form a JV with private sector or get assistance from DRDO to develop one. Why don't they follow the example of BEL, the way they designed the BFSR, which was found out to be more effective than imported ones.


Well, BHEL has close to zero capabilities in in-house R&D..Forget naval guns, which is frankly not a core business for them..In boilers, which is the "core of the core" part of their (power equipment) business, BHEL has not had any record of indigenisation...For decades it simply manufactured sub critical boilers on the basis of tech transfers from erstwhile USSR, Czechoslovakia and the US (done when BHEL was being set up)...and as they had a near monopoly of contracts from power operators (bulk of whom are PSUs), they had a nice monopoly situation going...Now with super critical boilers becoming de riguer, BHEL is scrambling around to get someone to transfer tech, and typically goes from one partner to another for each contract being given out (sometimes Alstom, sometimes Doosan, sometimes TPE...). Despite that in the new competitive bidding process for at least some projects, it is losing out to the Chinese and Koreans consustently...

To expect them to have R&D on naval guns therefore is a bit stretched...Ditto BTW with BEL - never did anything beyond screw drivering, and sometimes simply stamping ("made in BEL, India") imported stuff...

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Karan M » 02 Apr 2010 19:26

"Well, BHEL has close to zero capabilities in in-house R&D..To expect them to have R&D on naval guns therefore is a bit stretched...Ditto BTW with BEL - never did anything beyond screw drivering, and sometimes simply stamping ("made in BEL, India") imported stuff..."


Unfortunately time constraints mean I cannot visit this forum or even participate, but this post just makes me stop and go?!?!?!?

Coming to guns, there is a good reason why BHEL was chosen by the Navy and others for these systems, but I dont know whether these have been discussed online.. BHEL even worked on the Arjun system to the extent that they were earmarked for mass production of the Gun Control system. But I can understand not many know about it since it is not widely discussed even otherwise...but the BEL comment, :eek:

BEL is part and parcel of the R&D in many of the DRDO projects this forum discusses, and which I see mentioned.

They employ concurrent engineering so that the system modifications take place ASAP and the product is delivered without undue delay. BEL also works along with DRDO closely to make sure their R&D incorporates "design for manufactureability".

Not only is BEL vital to the success of DRDO projects like the BFSR and Rohini radar but it also handles the entire lifecycle including sustainment and also product improvements!! In the past, BEL was critical to the success of the entire Navy-DRDO sonar effort, from the R&D stage itself, and this is continuing with sonars today also!

BEL also develops the entire onboard networks for naval platforms, ships and submarines working with the Navy and DRDO, these are all in serial production, including for the submarine upgrades.

The DRDO Projects for Command and Control for the Army are all with BEL investment and participation, including Project Shakti, CIDSS. The Battle Field Management system is currently being Matured. BEL also worked with the Navy to develop and then produce the LINK-II system currently the first data link system operational in any service.

BEL also is the preferred partner for most DRDO-AF projects and some on their own also! In the case of the LCA also, BEL makes several of the hardware systems and developing newer versions with DRDO!

As regards imported stuff, BEL when faced with restrictive clauses has upgraded license manufactured equipment on its own, in one case re-engineering the systems of one prominent radar which currently comprises the bulk of the Army's AD radar for enhanced ECCM. The OEM was not too happy but!!

They also work on indigenization, case being another battlefield radar which is now being sourced more and more from local industry! Such efforts include adding/replacing antenna, video extractors, changing/modifying the transmit/receive chains, data/signal processing units and even stabilization! For this BEL also works with other smaller firms!

BEL also works with DRDO to determine areas of focus, and both organizations share funding commitments, infrastructure investment (like the recent BEL lab for advanced EW systems which complements the facilities at DLRL) and manpower allocation. This is why DRDO assigns BEL as the lead integrator even over other PSUs for several of its projects!

The current numbers can be found here!
http://www.business-standard.com/india/ ... rd/378931/

BEL plans to hike annual outlay for R&D
Mahesh Kulkarni / Chennai/ Bangalore December 9, 2009, 0:22 IST

Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), the Bangalore-based public sector undertaking under the ministry of defence, is planning to increase its research and development (R&D) budget by a huge proportion, from the present 5 per cent to 10 per cent of its annual turnover in the next two years, a top BEL official said.

“Presently, 50 per cent of our annual turnover of Rs 4,800 crore comes from the products developed by our in-house R&D units. Over the next three to five years we plan to increase it to 75 per cent annually. To achieve the target we need to develop more in-house products and that requires additional budgets,” Ashwani Kumar Datt, chairman and managing director, BEL, said.

As a result of the rise in its turnover year-on-year, BEL’s R&D budget is also rising. For 2009-10, BEL has earmarked Rs 250 crore as the R&D budget, a growth of about 19 per cent over the previous fiscal.


“We will not be comfortable with 5 per cent of the turnover as the R&D budget. Because, to achieve a turnover of Rs 10,000 crore in 2012-13, we need to develop more indigenous products and that requires huge amounts of money. So, we are planning to increase the R&D budget to about 8-10 per cent of our turnover over the next couple of years,” Datt said.

At the same time, he said the challenge is to enable R&D engineers to spend that much money effectively.

Presently, BEL does much of the R&D work at three strategic business units (SBUs) in the Bangalore and Ghaziabad units. In addition to this, it has seven more centres where the research work is done depending on the products manufactured there. All the 17 SBUs have dedicated R&D units to look after the immediate research and development works of that SBU. It has around 2,500 engineers working in its R&D centres, Datt said.

Apart from the SBU-level R&D, BEL also has its central R&D centre at Bangalore, where it makes modules that are common to various systems and products like signal processing. This centre gets projects from units and develops products for them. It also has a Central Research Laboratory in Bangalore and Ghaziabad.

They look into futuristic research and are engaged in developing cutting-edge technology work in the areas of electronic warfare systems, radars among others
.


And before it is said, yes, I am aware of the "war" between BEL & some pvt players on BELs muscle power (which is a another issue however) and who uses more off the shelf gear (for which BEL is actually working with DRDO and a couple of other firms on replacing those systems)..

BEL is even working with pvt partners for specific systems..
http://www.financialexpress.com/news/be ... jv/422151/

Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), India's largest manufacturer of defense electronics equipment, and Astra Microwave Products Ltd, a provider of cutting-edge RF and microwave components and sub-systems for critical defense and civilian applications, today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a joint venture company.

According to the terms of the MoU, the joint venture, in which Bharat Electronics will own 49% equity and Astra Microwave will own 51% equity, will design, develop, prototype, manufacture, and market RF and microwave products for use in defense, space, and telecommunications. The JV is proposed to be the platform for the design, development, and manufacture of BEL's microwave intensive products.

The MoU was signed in Bangalore today by IV Sarma, Director (R&D), Bharat Electronics, and B Malla Reddy, Managing Director, Astra Microwave.


To say however, that BEL has no R&D to speak of....is just staggering ..

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby sum » 02 Apr 2010 21:29

<Edited>
Seems BEL was also mentioned. SO, Mrinal-ji is fully justified in venting his fury.
Last edited by sum on 02 Apr 2010 21:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Rahul M » 02 Apr 2010 21:33

last line in his post.

nachiket
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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby nachiket » 02 Apr 2010 21:34

sum wrote:Mrinal-saar,
IIRC, Somnath-ji was mentioning abt BHEL and not BEL.



somnath wrote:...Ditto BTW with BEL - never did anything beyond screw drivering, and sometimes simply stamping ("made in BEL, India") imported stuff...


Looks like someone got carried away.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby NRao » 03 Apr 2010 01:39

Image

What are those protected protrusions?

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Karan M » 03 Apr 2010 03:45

Sum-ji

No fury only surprise, that such statements are made..

I picked BEL, as this forum is a defence focused one, and BEL operates primarily in the defence sector.
Even the statement on BHEL was incorrect. There is a good reason why the Indian Navy and MOD chose BHEL to participate in naval gunnery requirements. Given timeframes for system availability and ship lead times, BHEL has the mandate to pick the best technology from the worldwide market and take ownership for supplying it to the Navy. In the process BHEL ends up responsible for the program, leaving the Navy free. This is how the Navy builds up capabilities, identifying specific industries and companies for the indigenization of key items. Walchandnagar industries were in this manner built up to make gears, today they are suppliers for many defence programs. Of course you may be aware of what Walchandnagar was in before the Navy got them into the defence space.
http://www.walchand.com/industrial%20&% ... 0boxes.htm

Besides, even BHEL has a fairly robust R&D capability. In 2009 alone BHEL spent Rs 650 Crore on R&D.
http://www.livemint.com/2009/12/0918073 ... on-Ra.html
The firm is actually increasing its R&D spend over the years, as a % of turnover. AFAIK, in 2006-07 it was half the percentage achieved in 2009. Now, BHEL intends to increase their R&D spend to Rs 900 Crore as part of their 2012 strategic plan. It is also a fact that BHEL is recognised in the industry, as being specialists in control systems and electric gear. If series production of the Arjun MBT is launched, then BHEL will be responsible for the Gun Control System, as has been stated by the CVRDE (DRDO).

They also own BHPV from 2008 onwards. A brief snippet of BHPVs contributions to Indian defence, as this is a defence forum may be seen here (I think rest of the R&D entries have been deleted, and only the innocuous ones remain).
http://gjgraja.blogspot.com/2009/05/wel ... al-4v.html
Some of you may have followed BHPV because they developed the crucial heat exchangers for the LCA. BHPV has also played a vital role in many defence projects involving metallurgy. In the past, they also took DRDO developed steel and developed welding techniques so that it could replace Russian supplied metal on armoured vehicles.

Therefore, to say BHEL or BEL have no R&D at all, to speak of, is simply wrong. In fact, given the realization in GOI that they need to let these firms (and others) chart their own path, their investment in R&D and as such, their capabilities have been growing year on year.

In fact, the growing footprint of heavy engineering firms into the defence space, is a significant plus, given their extensive fabrication capabilities and how underequipped we are in terms of meeting production targets alone, even if we were to keep R&D aside.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Indranil » 03 Apr 2010 06:07

NRao wrote:http://im.rediff.com/news/2010/apr/01slid4.jpg

What are those protected protrusions?


They are passive stabilizers in the forms of bilge keels (ones running the length) and fixed fins (wing like extensions). They help in dampening the roll of the ship. They are very common in big ships. However in military ships, they are bigger in size as protection against torpedos.

I dont' know what is inside those roll cages though.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby somnath » 03 Apr 2010 07:44

Dont want to derail the topic of the thread, but just as a rejoinder..

Re BHEL

As posted above, BHEL for decades worked on sub critical boiler tech transferred from USSR/US/Czech, and then floundered heavily when the new generation super critical boilers became par for the course...Till a few years back, BHEL had a near "monopoly by diktat" on all supplies to PSU operators..NTPC got so frustrated that a couple of years back it asked the Power Ministry to allow them to get into manufacturing! Now most new projects are on open bidding (and a lot of projects are anyways also in the pvt sector), and BHEL is losing out big time in these, as they (again) try to get technology from someone..Usually they partner with an Alstom or someone while bidding as the tech partner...BHEL, thansk to its PSU status, still has a large order book, primarily from PSU operators, but that is a different question altogether..

Here is a good synopsys of BHEL's "R&D condition"..

http://www.hindu.com/2005/09/24/stories ... 561000.htm

A conspicuous weakness, however, is that BHEL is almost entirely dependent on imported technology. There is hardly any equipment it can claim to have designed on its own; design modifications have been made as required by the operating regime though



Now, re BEL:

Ajai Shukla wrote an insightful article recently on BEL's "stamping" tech:

http://ajaishukla.blogspot.com/2010/03/ ... or-in.html

He had earlier written an article about the Thermal Imager "R&D" that BEL was doing..Cant find the linke right now..

An indicator of the sort of R&D done by a company is its R&D spends as a % of turnover...

BEL's is less than 5% (2% if one excludes employee cost in the R&D budget)..Even a relatively small company like Elbit spends close to 9% of its sales on R&D...

Examples quoted of Rohini/Revathi are LRDE projects where BEL does the manufacturing...In the same way as they manufacture Elbit/Elisra computers, Raytheon radars and so on...

Mrinal ji, I had posted in another thread how this DRDO-DPSU/OFB setup is completely anachronistic, and R&D setups should be integrated into manufacturing entities...However, to expect the current crop of PSUs to suddenly do any meningful "R&D" successfully is askign literally for the moon...

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Karan M » 03 Apr 2010 09:39

Re BHEL

As posted above, BHEL for decades worked on sub critical boiler tech transferred from USSR/US/Czech, and then floundered heavily when the new generation super critical boilers became par for the course...Till a few years back, BHEL had a near "monopoly by diktat" on all supplies to PSU operators..NTPC got so frustrated that a couple of years back it asked the Power Ministry to allow them to get into manufacturing! Now most new projects are on open bidding (and a lot of projects are anyways also in the pvt sector), and BHEL is losing out big time in these, as they (again) try to get technology from someone..Usually they partner with an Alstom or someone while bidding as the tech partner...BHEL, thansk to its PSU status, still has a large order book, primarily from PSU operators, but that is a different question altogether..


Somnath ji,

You had written pretty much the same thing earlier, however, the point remains that BHEL is investing heavily in R&D and and it does achieve results from its investments. Ergo, your claim that BHEL has no R&D to speak of was rhetoric. Also, everything you have written above, could be re-written for a vast variety of companies in the Indian setup who at one time or the other, enjoyed protected status to some degree, but it is also a reality that times have changed, and firms which were hitherto placid are no longer so. You fixate on boilers, furthermore, whilst ignoring the valid reasons BHEL was chosen for Naval gunnery requirements, and the Arjun program.

Here is a good synopsys of BHEL's "R&D condition"..

http://www.hindu.com/2005/09/24/stories ... 561000.htm
A conspicuous weakness, however, is that BHEL is almost entirely dependent on imported technology. There is hardly any equipment it can claim to have designed on its own; design modifications have been made as required by the operating regime though




The article is a good read but unfortunately fails on three key accounts, namely that comparing any Indian company as it stands, to a Siemens or a GE, will result in the former coming off second best. That does not however translate to no R&D at all, as was what you claimed. Furthermore, the article loses credibility when it states a near absolute as in the above quote, as BHEL has indeed improved on imported equipment, plus developed equipment on its own. Its BHPV subsidiary being a case in point. Finally, despite all the words used, it does not do any sort of program analysis, or product portfolio analysis to validate its sweeping conclusions.

Having read a fair amount of such well intentioned articles, I would rather go by the corporate investments viz. actual numbers rather than rely on editorializing alone. If the latter is sought, then:


BHEL develops India’s first HTSC Transformer through in-house R&D efforts

New Delhi, 09 December, 2009

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)’s sustained focus on developing new technologies and products through in-house R&D initiatives has once again paid rich dividends to the company with the successful indigenous development of the country’s first High Temperature Superconducting Transformer (HTSC).

India’s first 1.0 MVA, three-phase 33/6.6 kV HTSC Transformer, has been developed, manufactured and tested entirely with in-house know-how and uses bismuth-based HTSC wire instead of the conventional copper. A bismuth-based conductor can carry 100 times more current than equivalent size copper conductor. The availability of bismuth-based HTSC wire commercially has opened new opportunities for manufacturers of power system equipment, the world over.

This development will catapult BHEL into a new era of applying superconductivity which is a futuristic technology, in the area of transformer development, hitherto the domain of very few countries. The development of HTSC transformer will open up new vistas in the area of efficient transmission and distribution of power. It will contribute to large-scale reduction in the loss of energy and also usher in an era of safe and environment-friendly technologies.

The significant advantages of HTSC transformers over conventional transformers are; higher efficiency; smaller size, weight and volume; capability to withstand twice the capacity overload without insulation damage or loss of useful life and better voltage regulation capability than regular transformers. In addition, they do not require cooling oil like conventional transformers, thereby eliminating the possibility of oil fires and related environmental hazards. Also, they provide more power per unit volume in existing substations.

BHEL places a major thrust on R&D as a key driver of the company’s evolution into the realm of next-generation products and systems. During fiscal 2008-09, out of its total turnover of Rs.28,033 Crore, the company has achieved a record turnover of Rs.5,571 Crore – nearly 20% of the total turnover, through commercialisation of products and systems developed by way of in-house R&D efforts.

This is the result of a constant thrust on developing new technologies and products, besides improving existing products and systems in terms of reliability, cost and quality through in-house R&D efforts. Significantly, during the year, BHEL spent over Rs.690 Crore on R&D – 46% more than the previous year. In fact, BHEL’s R&D spend at 2.46% of the turnover, is among the highest in India for its kind of industry and has been ranked mid-way among the top 1,000 global R&D spenders.

A notable achievement of fiscal 2008-09 has been the significant growth in intellectual capital with around one patent/copyright filed every alternate working day. BHEL’s IPR capital has gone up 31% taking the total number to 868 patents and copyrights filed, which are in productive use in the company’s business.


Now, does this make BHEL a Siemens or GE or ABB. Of course not, but it does point to the fact that the company is working on increasing its R&D footprint.


Now, re BEL:

Ajai Shukla wrote an insightful article recently on BEL's "stamping" tech:

http://ajaishukla.blogspot.com/2010/03/ ... or-in.html

He had earlier written an article about the Thermal Imager "R&D" that BEL was doing..Cant find the linke right now..


Yes, I am aware of what Ajai Shukla wrote. However, on cross checking, the details add up somewhat differently.

The article for instance notes that BEL's contribution in Samyukta includes hardware from foreign OEMs. But perhaps he was not informed, that it was done with clearance from DRDO as the project timelines did not allow for ab-initio development. The imported equipment, mainly hardware, used for the Communications segment, btw, is now being developed under a certain project by a DRDO program which includes both BEL, ECIL and private firms. So the information provided to Ajai Shukla, in this particular case, was slightly skewed. The Samyukta-II as the program is now called, will improve on the earlier, in terms of indigenous content. On the other hand, BEL is now delivering product improved versions of systems for which it & DRDO, had already developed the technology, namely non-com ESM systems developed for the Navy.

Now to the second example, namely the ACCS:

Furthermore, the ACCS program is also a mistaken inclusion, as there were two components to the hardware, a coordinates display/computer developed by BEL and DRDO, and an off the shelf Battlefield computer developed by ELBIT, which incidentally was chosen by CAIR, DRDO. As part of the deal as a quid pro quo, Elbit chose the BEL-CAIR hardware when it won a deal for the Irish Army, so that was a plus for India.

Lastly, the pvt firm in question which states that it had developed its portion of the Samyukta indigenously, also relies on imported off the shelf components for its portions, including SPARC workstations. All in all, this is more competitive jockeying for position between two firms, competing for a very large and lucrative project, than anything else.

Finally, thermal imagers, IRDE of the DRDO works with both BEL and Alpha for thermal imagers, and BEL (and Alpha)'s contributions are around technology, which given current investment, is what India can provide, namely the optics, the electronics, including the image processing segment, and the power supplies.

BEL is also attempting to acquire the core detector technology via the mass procurement deal for the T-72 Upgrade program. This is btw a national objective, supported by the DRDO. So far only a handful of firms across the world have invested in and developed this, including Sofradir of France, Denel of South Africa, Raytheon from the US, and a couple of others, including Israel. BEL has also been working with DRDO and academia to develop an alternate indigenous alternative, but it is expensive, and will take time. The import option, if it works out (because this is a critical tech which firms are loathe to provide) may be a viable alternative.

Quite frankly, nothing in that article lends any credence to the claim that BEL does not do R&D at all, or that its contributions are insignificant.

If your claim had been specific viz BEL not being allowed to take a monopoly position as it stifles the growth of other peers, private and public, there would have been some validity in that statement.

An indicator of the sort of R&D done by a company is its R&D spends as a % of turnover...

BEL's is less than 5% (2% if one excludes employee cost in the R&D budget)..Even a relatively small company like Elbit spends close to 9% of its sales on R&D...


You would be mistaken here, as R&D capability is tracked not just by R&D spent as a % of turnover, but overall spend as well. Here, the amounts spent by BEL are fairly significant. Furthermore, BEL is effectively doubling its R&D spend as noted previously, showing the emphasis the company places on R&D. This by itself is a third parameter.

Furthermore, when using the percentage metric it is also a fact that, the smaller the firm and the lesser its overall turnover, the higher the proportion it has to spend in R&D to sustain its product lines. For instance, Alpha (India) has to spend ~20-30% of its turnover just to compete across certain product segments, let alone the larger more R&D intensive ones such as radars. Larger firms have more leeway, as even by spending a smaller proportion of their turnover, they can still have substantial amounts spent. This is also a reason why scale is so important in the defence industry.

Lastly, BEL can afford to spend lesser as a % of its R&D because a substantial number of its programs involve joint funding via DRDO and the services.

Hence, this claim of yours does not have much credence either.

Examples quoted of Rohini/Revathi are LRDE projects where BEL does the manufacturing...In the same way as they manufacture Elbit/Elisra computers, Raytheon radars and so on...


You would be absolutely wrong here, as BEL does not just manufacture the products but cooperates in their development as well. The principle of concurrent engineering demands that BEL is involved from an early stage in the project and even deputes its own R&D engineers to the program.

While prototypes are in trials and design changes are then mooted, products on the shopfloor incorporate these improvements. This requires close cooperation with designers from designers such as the LRDE and the R&D folks from BEL's CRL, and the manufacturing SBU as well.

This is exactly what they did for the Sonar programs as well.

Furthermore, your contextual use of the term manufacturing also implies that it involves littile-to no R&D, and products supplied by the DRDO are ready to build as is. That is wrong - BEL engineers work on design for manufacture and improving processes that ensure that the product meets requirements or exceeds them. Manufacturing by itself is a very R&D intensive activity, as the prior example of BHPV (a BHEL subsidiary) should have made clear. DMRL developed a steel, but it would have ended up nowhere unless BHPV technologists developed welding techniques for that steel, and then transferred that to the end manufacturing organization. Similar is the case with BEL. Without BEL investing in more advanced R&D, many of DRDOs plans would not come to fruition. As the prior link demonstrated, BEL has a structured, organized R&D setup with substantial investment.

Furthermore, their scale of work is also increasing.

http://www.business-standard.com/india/ ... ty/385312/

Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) is setting up a Central Research Laboratory (CRL) which will focus on ‘complex’ research on futuristic technologies in the area of electronic warfare (EW). The Bangalore-headquartered company already has two CRLs located in Bangalore and Ghaziabad.

The lab, the company is planning to set up, would initially have about 20 scientists and focus on both electronic warfare and electro-optics,
BEL CMD Ashwani Kumar Datt said here on Wednesday. He said BEL was expecting to derive about Rs 1,500 crore of revenues by pursuing EW projects.

The EW business of BEL contributes close to 17 per cent to the company’s revenues of about Rs 4,800 crore. “We get around Rs 700-800 crore from EW business at present, and we want to double the business in two years. We are preparing the organisation and partner organisations, both in the private and public sectors, to support this growth,” Datt told reporters after addressing the inaugural function of an international conference on electronic warfare. Presently, about 800 people work for various electronic warfare projects being pursued by BEL.

At present, Defence Avionics Research Establishment, (Bangalore), and Defence Electronics Research Laboratory (DLRL), Hyderabad, are the DRDO laboratories engaged in the design and development of EW systems indigenously.


Your claims that BEL only manufactures and does no R&D also fail when considering that BEL has products which are not supplied to it from the DRDO or other manufacturers. These include the communications networks on naval ships and submarines. It cooperates with DRDO, other OEMs and academia for certain subsystems but retains the overall design rights and program ownership.

Lastly, the claim that BEL merely stamps systems, is also wrong as proven by the example that BEL upgraded an originally license manufactured unit on its own by adding additional ECCM modes.

Mrinal ji, I had posted in another thread how this DRDO-DPSU/OFB setup is completely anachronistic, and R&D setups should be integrated into manufacturing entities...However, to expect the current crop of PSUs to suddenly do any meningful "R&D" successfully is askign literally for the moon...


Unfortunately that comment is ideological and has little relation to the reality. There are both positives and negatives to the current structure but to fixate on the latter, and selectively disregard the former, is not meaningful. If one has to improve on the current structure, a proper understanding of each industry is required, including the value chain, and the company or organization in question.

The fact is that the DRDO's independence from manufacturing units actually allows it to be vendor neutral, and choose the one that best meets its needs, and fulfill national objectives.

It also prevents a monopoly situation from developing wherein the DRDO would be integrated with a MOD manufacturer to the detriment of the huge number of SMEs and larger pvt manufacturers who work with it on several key programs.

The current setup also encourages the respective vendors, private and public to develop their own R&D setup, to complement the DRDO and even fill in those areas where it does not have a presence. The DRDO encourages this, as it is not tied to any one vendor or OEM.

Furthermore, what is surprising is that on the one hand you note that R&D setups should be integrated into manufacturing entities but completely disregard the R&D setups that are already part of the aforesaid manufacturing entities and which have successfully delivered a substantial number of programs.

In conclusion, the current crop of PSUs actually do meaningful R&D, which can be determined by closely observing the programs in question and even taking the effort to actually contact the program developers in question.

However if this is not done, and mere reliance is placed in an absolute sense on only articles which suit ones preconceptions, then the results drawn will invariably be flawed.
Last edited by Karan M on 03 Apr 2010 09:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby sunilUpa » 03 Apr 2010 09:39

Mrinal wrote:To say however, that BEL has no R&D to speak of....is just staggering ..


Mrinal JI,

Which of the above in your long list, is 100% BEL Intellectual Property. Please do not use qualifiers and adjectives.

I am asking this question as I want to know, not to get in to arguement.

Again, I am looking for 100% Intellectual property of BEl (not of DRDO, or any other partners), not co-operating with DRDO or some such things. Please give me couple of product names and I will cross check with patent office.

Thank you.
Last edited by sunilUpa on 03 Apr 2010 09:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Gyle_S » 03 Apr 2010 09:40

I was doing an internship at BHEL 10 years back. Most babus and workers alike would just drink tea and eat paans. The designs were flowing in from their European partners (Siemens, Alstom etc.) and the engineers at BHEL (on which 100's of crore of R&D is spent) just signed at the bottom and gave it to the workshop. This is the 'indigenous technology' from BHEL that I witnessed.

That internship has left a big mark on my understanding of the culture of inefficiency that is prevalent in some of our PSUs.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Karan M » 03 Apr 2010 09:49

sunilUpa wrote:
Mrinal wrote:To say however, that BEL has no R&D to speak of....is just staggering ..


Mrinal JI,

Which of the above in your long list, is 100% BEL Intellectual Property. Please do not use qualifiers and adjectives.

I am asking this question as I want to know, not to get in to arguement.

Again, I am looking for 100% Intellectual property of BEl (not of DRDO, or any other partners), not co-operating with DRDO or some such things. Please give me couple of product names and I will cross check with patent office.

Thank you.


Sunil ji

Let me ask you your own question, so that you understand how flawed it is, to any serious observer of the Indian defence industry.

Can you tell me the number of things in "DRDO's long list" that are 100% its own property?

Please go ahead tell me. I include programs and products such as the Arjun tank, the LCA, the Akash missile, et al.

And why would you think that BEL (or for that matter DRDO) patent everything they develop?

When you state "Please do not use qualifiers and adjectives." or "Again, I am looking for 100% Intellectual property of BEl (not of DRDO, or any other partners), not co-operating with DRDO or some such things" ...it does indeed appear that you are more interested in an arguement than the facts alone.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Karan M » 03 Apr 2010 09:52

sgyl wrote:I was doing an internship at BHEL 10 years back. Most babus and workers alike would just drink tea and eat paans. The designs were flowing in from their European partners (Siemens, Alstom etc.) and the engineers at BHEL (on which 100's of crore of R&D is spent) just signed at the bottom and gave it to the workshop. This is the 'indigenous technology' from BHEL that I witnessed.

That internship has left a big mark on my understanding of the culture of inefficiency that is prevalent in some of our PSUs.


Re: the former underlined, it would be more relevant to see the situation today. Whether for better or worse, the current demands of the marketplace have lit a fire under the backside of many staid PSU's. There are two companies operating in the defence space, both of which went into bankruptcy, and have come back thanks to the realization that the only way they can manage is via actually delivering. One belongs to the MOD, the other, to another GOI entity.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby sunilUpa » 03 Apr 2010 09:57

Mrinal wrote:

Sunil ji

Let me ask you your own question, so that you understand how flawed it is, to any serious observer of the Indian defence industry.

Can you tell me the number of things in "DRDO's long list" that are 100% its own property?

Please go ahead tell me. I include programs and products such as the Arjun tank, the LCA, the Akash missile, et al.

And why would you think that BEL (or for that matter DRDO) patent everything they develop?

When you state "Please do not use qualifiers and adjectives." or "Again, I am looking for 100% Intellectual property of BEl (not of DRDO, or any other partners), not co-operating with DRDO or some such things" ...it does indeed appear that you are more interested in an arguement than the facts alone.


No, I am not looking for arguements for arguments sake. I am interested in Intelectual property of BEL, period. It need not be in defence sector.
Claiming that they are 'instumental' in the success of Samyukta or Rohini or Revathi will not add any credibility to your arguement nor will questioning the IP of DRDO.

Let's try again, please provide names of some products which were result of BEL's own reseach and they own the IP for that and the product is the market now. (merely having a patent is no goodm if you don't or can't practice it. CSIR owns thousands of patents and I also have some patent but I am still a poor SDRE onlee :(( )

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Karan M » 03 Apr 2010 10:07

No, I am not looking for arguements for arguments sake. I am interested in Intelectual property of BEL, period. It need not be in defence sector.
Claiming that they are 'instumental' in the success of Samyukta or Rohini or Revathi will not add any credibility to your arguement nor will questioning the IP of DRDO.


Now, arent you being disingenuous here?

On the one hand you claim that you dont want an argument, but on the other hand you are asking about the credibility of my arguement!

So let me ask you what is the IP of DRDO in the Revathi and Rohini? Since you claim I am questioning it. Can you tell me who developed the which organizations developed the TWT used in those products? Also, since we are on this rather interesting line, can you tell me what is the TCR, and which organization has been part and parcel of the recent trials?

Let's try again, please provide names of some products which were result of BEL's own reseach and they own the IP for that and the product is the market now. (merely having a patent is no goodm if you don't or can't practice it. CSIR owns thousands of patents and I also have some patent but I am still a poor SDRE onlee :(( )


The point which you entirely missed, is that BEL has several products such as SANKET and CATCH which it developed on its own, but which also depend on what became available to it via programs with organizations such as the DRDO.

Furthermore, your question makes little sense because the DRDO transfers manufacturing rights to BEL and other partners and while they are BEL products, they would not be possible without DRDO involvement.

In effect, your question is that of a dog chasing its own tail.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby sunilUpa » 03 Apr 2010 10:10

Mrinal wrote:
No, I am not looking for arguements for arguments sake. I am interested in Intelectual property of BEL, period. It need not be in defence sector.
Claiming that they are 'instumental' in the success of Samyukta or Rohini or Revathi will not add any credibility to your arguement nor will questioning the IP of DRDO.


Now, arent you being disingenuous here?

On the one hand you claim that you dont want an argument, but on the other hand you are asking about the credibility of my arguement!

So let me ask you what is the IP of DRDO in the Revathi and Rohini? Since you claim I am questioning it. Can you tell me who developed the which organizations developed the TWT used in those products? Also, since we are on this rather interesting line, can you tell me what is the TCR, and which organization has been part and parcel of the recent trials?

Let's try again, please provide names of some products which were result of BEL's own reseach and they own the IP for that and the product is the market now. (merely having a patent is no goodm if you don't or can't practice it. CSIR owns thousands of patents and I also have some patent but I am still a poor SDRE onlee :(( )


The point which you entirely missed, is that BEL has several products such as SANKET and CATCH which it developed on its own, but which also depend on what became available to it via programs with organizations such as the DRDO.

Furthermore, your question makes little sense because the DRDO transfers manufacturing rights to BEL and other partners and while they are BEL products, they would not be possible without DRDO involvement.

In effect, your question is that of a dog chasing its own tail.


I am not asking about the IP of DRDO, but of BEL. AND IP does not mean you need to invent every screw of the system.

In any case I have the answer
Thanks.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby somnath » 03 Apr 2010 10:28

Mrinal ji

The point is not ideoligical, but factual and in some ways, conceptual..

Your approach is welcome:

I would rather go by the corporate investments viz. actual numbers rather than rely on editorializing alone

R&D capability is tracked not just by R&D spent as a % of turnover, but overall spend as well. Here, the amounts spent by BEL are fairly significant. Furthermore, BEL is effectively doubling its R&D spend as noted previously, showing the emphasis the company places on R&D. This by itself is a third parameter.


BHEL - total R&D expenses - 690 crores, or about 150 million dollars, out of which capital expenditue is 12 crores (!)...Translates to about 2.5% of turnover...Its BTW gone up from 2.17% of sales in the previous year! In any case, given the negligible capital expenditure, I can only make one conclusion out of the "critical" nature of R&D that they might be doing!

http://www.bhel.com/images/pdf/annual_r ... 008-09.pdf

How much does Siemens spend on R&D? Nearly 4 billion EUROs (not dollars), translating to over 5% of turnover...
http://www.siemens.com/investor/pool/en ... gb2009.pdf

The differences are thereore clear..

And the reason I talk of boilers in the BHEL context is because it is the "core" of its existance - its a power equipment manufacturing company...If it can be so blase about that, once can assume its level of interest (in R&D at least) on a relatively peripheral naval gun...



BEL - I had quoted <5% as % of sales (2% stripped off personnel costs)..the total amount for the last financial was 50 million dollars...Elbit, which is about 2.5 times the size of BEL (not a "small" company in comparison, though small compared to the Raytheons), spent about 5 times as much, or almost 250 million..

When one talks of "R&D", it is not about simply incremental improvement of an imported or licensed technology - which is what BHEL/BEL would have done, sometimes effectively over the years..In an industrial context, it would mean at least beign able to "learn the wheel", or have the ability to manufacture the present generation in-house, without a "licensed" tech...BEL has been making TIs for years now, how come each succeeding generation of TI needs a foreign tech collaboration (in Indian context, that means a simple import)?

the question is not about having "100% IP" in a finished product - perhaps no complex product has that today...The question is whether a manufacturer is able to design and manufacture grounds up at least the current generation, ideally the next generation, version of its core product...

In the cases of both BEL and BHEL, there current track record shows an utter and continuous dependence on foreign collaboration and transfer for core tech...Hence BEL has gto get the tech for 1st, 2nd and 3rd gen TI, from someone out there..and BHEL has to souce bioiler tech similarly..

Re: the former underlined, it would be more relevant to see the situation today. Whether for better or worse, the current demands of the marketplace have lit a fire under the backside of many staid PSU's.


Well, they had started facing competition from 1990 onwards...Dont get me wrong, tey (both BHEL and BEL) are a reasonably good engineering company, but not a cutting edge setup given to R&D...

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Karan M » 03 Apr 2010 10:36

sunilUpa wrote:I am not asking about the IP of DRDO, but of BEL. AND IP does not mean you need to invent every screw of the system.


If you want to set this as the narrower limit, BEL has IP in several products, including in production items such as ESM systems, and of course systems programs for all tri-services led by DRDO. BEL's CRL are also working with DRDO on other programs, in which BEL is putting up a share of the development funds.

In any case I have the answer
Thanks.


I hope so, because the manner in which your original question was framed, the point was unclear to me.

The way the Indian defence industry is currently structured, DRDO works so closely with BEL, ECIL (which actually is from the DAE) and vice versa that it is near impossible to determine where one program ends and the other begins. Even insiders will demur on drawing clear lines.

The latest rules specify, that from henceforth, DRDO will ask for a funding commitment from the end manufacturer (say BEL), the user (say the AF) and the remaining (usually 70%) will be put up by the DRDO itself. As you can see, this does not clearly reflect the actual R&D contribution of each organization per se, but may actually translate into a rough benchmark of who owns the product, but at the end of the day, once the product reaches production, BEL takes over (ergo handling the investments in production, sustainment).

At the end of the day though, both BEL and DRDO belong to the MOD, so a key metric of success can be measured is via the program. Taking the case of the Akash f.e., orders placed are significantly more than the investments in the program, plus of course the price differential viz the Akash and the import.

In the Akash, following your narrower limit, apart from DRDO which effectively was the largest contributor, others would include ECIL, BEL and even CEL (BEL bought CELs stake though) and of course private partners, (whom DRDO refers to as industry) such as L&T and some others.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Karan M » 03 Apr 2010 11:17

somnath wrote:BHEL - total R&D expenses - 690 crores, or about 150 million dollars, out of which capital expenditue is 12 crores (!)...Translates to about 2.5% of turnover...Its BTW gone up from 2.17% of sales in the previous year! In any case, given the negligible capital expenditure, I can only make one conclusion out of the "critical" nature of R&D that they might be doing!

http://www.bhel.com/images/pdf/annual_r ... 008-09.pdf

How much does Siemens spend on R&D? Nearly 4 billion EUROs (not dollars), translating to over 5% of turnover...
http://www.siemens.com/investor/pool/en ... gb2009.pdf


Somnath -ji,

There is a key difference that you are missing whilst comparing BHEL to Siemens, that Siemens has long been a private firm, and as such the mandate for R&D investment is consistent! It never had to make a case for increasing its R&D investment to the GOI. Perhaps you are aware, that as of 1995, a certain defence PSU, rather largeish, still had to request the MOD to change its mandate from merely license manufacturing to include R&D. That same PSU today, has several R&D units.

On the other hand, look at what BHEL is doing vis a vis what it was cleared to do earlier. They increased R&D over 2008, and intend to increase it even further by 2012. So clearly, this is not a company with a) No R&D and b) No plans for R&D.

Your position is akin to "BHEL spends lesser than Siemens as a % of its turnover so its not going anywhere" - pardon my paraphrasing, whereas mine is "look at the trend"!

And the reason I talk of boilers in the BHEL context is because it is the "core" of its existance - its a power equipment manufacturing company...If it can be so blase about that, once can assume its level of interest (in R&D at least) on a relatively peripheral naval gun...


Somnath-ji,

BHEL's situation (then) was hardly unique. The question, however, is whether BHEL is still blase. If BHEL was indeed so blase, and not worried about what it would and should do, then it would not even get into defence.

For all practical purposes, as you note, it has a perfectly functional "core of existence" where things are chippy, why complicate things by accepting to fulfill the Navy's requirement for Naval guns?

Forget Naval guns, why did BHEL when requested by the DRDO, agree to be the GCS manufacturer for the Arjun. Private manufacturers looked at the proposal, saw the risks, versus the reward and did not agree.

The fact is that for better or worse, the marketplace is increasingly competitive. R&D or even adjacent businesses, are no longer things that are "unecessary" but more and more critical. This is something that is now recognised by many DPSUs whether it be BHEL or BEL.

A certain DPSU, which was not into much in defence, has now started an aero unit, and is even integrated into the Su-30 and IJT program, times change!

BEL - I had quoted <5% as % of sales (2% stripped off personnel costs)..the total amount for the last financial was 50 million dollars...Elbit, which is about 2.5 times the size of BEL (not a "small" company in comparison, though small compared to the Raytheons), spent about 5 times as much, or almost 250 million..


Elbit, in this case has to pick up the tab for all its projects. BEL does not. This is a clear decision made by the MOD as both the DRDO and BEL belong to it. Keeps thing simpler. If you see a huge systems project such as one pre-Sangraha, in the case of Elbit, the company would have to pick up the R&D tab (apart from what was sponsored by the Israeli Govt.), in the case of BEL, the project costs would actually accrue to a separate program fund administered by DRDO! Under revised rules, BEL now has to put up a portion of the program costs upfront, so there will be a greater "hit" from that.

But as you can see, mere one to one comparisons as you have done, dont translate to the situation on the ground.


When one talks of "R&D", it is not about simply incremental improvement of an imported or licensed technology - which is what BHEL/BEL would have done, sometimes effectively over the years..In an industrial context, it would mean at least beign able to "learn the wheel", or have the ability to manufacture the present generation in-house, without a "licensed" tech...BEL has been making TIs for years now, how come each succeeding generation of TI needs a foreign tech collaboration (in Indian context, that means a simple import)?


FYI, your statement viz the first couple of lines only reflects what BEL for instance, has already achieved, hence why it is DRDO's partner of choice, versus other firms!

Viz your second example, re: TI, I am afraid, you are unaware of the system in question and the costs it entails.

BEL belongs to the MOD, as such any investment of this magnitude - wherein BEL has to manufacture the infrared detectors entirely on its own, has to be cleared by the MOD. Such proposals have been floated since 2005, been considered and not cleared.

What BEL/DRDO can afford viz their budgets, they have mastered and are busy turning out Mk1, Mk2 variants. The first "TI" system developed for instance was an acquisition sight for MBTs using Gen1 tech; today, its thoroughly outperformed by the TAS (Target Acquisition Sight) on the Namica.

In an ideal world, India would have enough money to meet your hearts desire. But unfortunately, as things stand today, there are things we can afford, and things we cant.

The current thought is to leverage the en masse procurement of TI's for the T-72 tank upgrade to acquire this tech. Easier said than done.

the question is not about having "100% IP" in a finished product - perhaps no complex product has that today...The question is whether a manufacturer is able to design and manufacture grounds up at least the current generation, ideally the next generation, version of its core product...
In the cases of both BEL and BHEL, there current track record shows an utter and continuous dependence on foreign collaboration and transfer for core tech...Hence BEL has gto get the tech for 1st, 2nd and 3rd gen TI, from someone out there..and BHEL has to souce bioiler tech similarly..


Your TI issue has been addressed above.

However, viz your first statement, it has already been achieved. Lets take Radar Warners. Currently we are at Gen 3, Gen 4 actually, if we consider another system. A new EW system is due this year. Its actually discontinuous, as it is a radical break from previous tech & should ideally be considered a system in its own right. However, if we include its forefathers, its actually MK4. The same actually holds true if we consider radars, sonars etc..

The point is that in systems where BEL's available funds (and its partners too) could allow it to develop/manufacture..it has taken those in hand.

Well, they had started facing competition from 1990 onwards...Dont get me wrong, tey (both BHEL and BEL) are a reasonably good engineering company, but not a cutting edge setup given to R&D...


Competition didn't begin in the 1990's but from much earlier, the day India started importing systems, if we really have to be specific!

However, what must be understood is that these firms independence to take decisions on what was critical only began over the past decade.

The Navratna tag etc is - beyond the obvious - a sign of the limited freedom that was now available to these firms to chart their own path, and not just do what centralized planning at the MOD/GOI level dictated. Even that has come after severe debate and heartburn on losing control over the PSUs!

Would disagree on the cutting edge aspect as well, some of the things currently being worked on @ DRDO, BEL et al, have limited peers worldwide. The bulk of the results will actually be visible after the platforms these technologies are being developed for, mature after trials.

There has been a lot of shock and heartburn f.e. over something recent programs, as analysts see technologies that are competitive with worldwide systems. They had entirely missed the iterative aspect and the trending.

Now, I cant say BHEL f.e. will be the same, but after having seen a thoroughly mismanaged PSU, rise from bankruptcy and now become a critical part of many of our strategic defence programs, I would not write off their efforts and their clear recognition of what they need to do.

Given current requirements, forget R&D, I am sure many folks at the planning end would be very happy if "mere" fabrication was ramped up via the entry of other PSUs, private firms, whoever.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby somnath » 03 Apr 2010 11:58

^^^Mrinal ji,

thanks for the details on the specific platforms..they are very useful info indeed..

But as a layperson, I look at macro numbers and published info..

You seem to lay a great deal behind the fact that today DRDO spends a lot of the "R&D spends" on behalf of the PSUs..Notwithstanding the anachronism of the system itslef, that really doesnt say much...DRDO's budget this year is about 2 billion dollars...A very large portion of it is bound to be spent on strategic projects (ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, BMD, nuclear weapon infrastructure)...I dont know how much would be really there to be deployed in tactical systems...And that is the crux of the issue..Not enough funding, and not enough initiative...

Our PSUs, especially DPSUs have been so used to their pathetic existance (via guaranteed govt contracts and g'teed pay cmmission linked salaries for employees), that they havent shown any foresight to do anything more than observing the formalities..

BHEL has been a navaratna (since you place so much emphasis on its navaratna status) since 1997... after 14 years, it is still scrambling around for technology that is core to its core business! Look at the trend, I say too..In case a firm cannot take advantage of its "protected" status for decades to build up essential capabilities, what would you "hope"? Increasing R&D spends by piddly sums of 50-60 milion dollars in a year - actually God knows how much of it is even proper "R&D", given that capex is 2% of the total spend itself!!

You look at absolute numbers, relative numbers - any criterion you choose, they make for dismal reading...And "we are getting there" doesnt work anymore, not 20+ years after liberalisation..

Why is it approached for defence projects? In the past, simply because engg firms in the pvt sector were either not encouraged, or later, the pvt sector itself was not sure of the policy stance around mil procurements...

About the Research-production divorce, well its anachronism is reflected in a range of projects..Arjun - where Avadi took years to come up with even a defined projection of a production run...Or our strategic missiles, where our missile production rate is lesser than that of Pakistan!!! :evil: It was a question that was asked and partially addressed even in DRDO's restructuring exercise...

No other country has a set-up like this, where tactical systems R&D is divorced from its production entity..."Basic" research is done typically at universities and commercial defence companies take control of the whole process end-to-end...At least for non-strategic systems...

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Karan M » 03 Apr 2010 13:54

^^^Mrinal ji,

thanks for the details on the specific platforms..they are very useful info indeed..

But as a layperson, I look at macro numbers and published info..


Somnath-ji,

So far most of the comparisons you have drawn via macro numbers and published info, are quite incorrect. Only if you spend some time looking into the specifics, as this seems to be an area of interest for you. It is only then you will see the actual details. Otherwise, its just a waste of time.

You seem to lay a great deal behind the fact that today DRDO spends a lot of the "R&D spends" on behalf of the PSUs..Notwithstanding the anachronism of the system itslef, that really doesnt say much...DRDO's budget this year is about 2 billion dollars...A very large portion of it is bound to be spent on strategic projects (ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, BMD, nuclear weapon infrastructure)...I dont know how much would be really there to be deployed in tactical systems...And that is the crux of the issue..Not enough funding, and not enough initiative...


Somnath-ji, the system is not really anachronistic. It works, and as they say "KISS" (in terms of overall management). A certain firm recently tried beating Kelly's golden rules and is now facing a tough time. DRDO's budget is indeed $ 2 Billion, but the amount of money required in India for continuing research is still sufficient to meet certain pressing requirements and mission projects.

As regards, initiative, this is where I would disagree with you, again based on the facts at hand. When there was not a single radar made in India, the initiative was taken at both the DRDO and PSU level to plan out a long term vision which has delivered in spades.

Unfortunately, money will always be a problem, but then again, even the services complain about allotment never mind that a huge chunk is returned unspent year after year. Frankly speaking, I do not anticipate our budget rising beyond the 3% level (which it is yet to reach) for a long time to come.

Our PSUs, especially DPSUs have been so used to their pathetic existance (via guaranteed govt contracts and g'teed pay cmmission linked salaries for employees), that they havent shown any foresight to do anything more than observing the formalities..


You would be mistaken here, as BEL for instance, signed onto DRDO programs when it had no need to. The Rajendra for instance relies on phase shifters developed by CEL and academia, which company was bought by BEL, with no guarantee of Rajendra orders being placed. Now there are newer variants in production. So the issue is not as black or white as you make it out to be.

Times have changed, and BEL and several other DPSUs are well ahead in the race. A lot of the grief from their peers, is not just about the monopoly aspect but the fact that these firms are finally leveraging their financial capabilities in terms of infra & R&D.

BHEL has been a navaratna (since you place so much emphasis on its navaratna status) since 1997... after 14 years, it is still scrambling around for technology that is core to its core business! Look at the trend, I say too..In case a firm cannot take advantage of its "protected" status for decades to build up essential capabilities, what would you "hope"? Increasing R&D spends by piddly sums of 50-60 milion dollars in a year - actually God knows how much of it is even proper "R&D", given that capex is 2% of the total spend itself!!


You have totally misinterpreted my words. Please read what I said about "limited". My point was that this so called Navratna status was the first sign of liberalization in the GOI control structure, and it was a hard fought limited victory. Even today, there are still those who do not look at the PSUs as anything but mass manufacturing units which are basically "cost centers" and any margins that they do earn anyplace and anyhow, should promptly be repatriated to the GOI ministry they belong to. In that clime, what BHEL et al have acheived is significant. They have managed to get a corporate focus on R&D & have also convinced their primary stakeholder, that is the GOI, their need to actually invest back into the business. And their actual investmenrts reflect that trend, with a year on year focus.

Furthermore, R&D spends of $ 50-60 Million may be piddly for your standards, but in the Indian economy they count for a lot. A certain defence SME I am aware of, which spends almost a third of its turnover on R&D will be glad if it even makes that amount in total turnover! For the amount it spends, it has developed almost a dozen critical microelectronics assemblies for DRDO! Cost comparisons viz WW OEMs purely based on the $ Million aspect, hence dont entirely translate in every sector.

You look at absolute numbers, relative numbers - any criterion you choose, they make for dismal reading...And "we are getting there" doesnt work anymore, not 20+ years after liberalisation..


I am sorry, but you are changing the basis of the arguement here. Your arguement was basically on the line of that these firms have no R&D, no products to their credit. Now as that is clearly incorrect, you are now saying that they dont invest enough.

In that case, kindly look at the Capex GM had in its auto division for a year, and compare it to whichever auto company you wish to pick in India. Is it similar? Clearly not, irrespective of our desires, India is not the US or Europe, so lets be realistic - however, lower manpower costs do allow us significant leeway.

The point remains that for the programs India has had, whether they be DRDO ones or Navy ones, BEL f.e. has pulled its share of its weight, and delivered. We have gone line by line, program by program, and the facts speak for themselves. There would be no Akash today, but for BEL pulling its share of the program. And if there was no Akash, there would have to be 16 SAM Batteries imported as well as another 50 plus radars. Pakistan in contrast, paid $ 572 Million for 10 Batteries of the SPADA 2000. Never mind, the additional costs that will ensue over modifications and the loss of strategic control.

Why is it approached for defence projects? In the past, simply because engg firms in the pvt sector were either not encouraged, or later, the pvt sector itself was not sure of the policy stance around mil procurements...


This is incorrect! NAMICA f.e. was first handed to a pvt manufacturer, when it proved unable to the task at hand, BEL was brought in and delivered. DRDO routinely chooses whom its partners should be, program to program, and BEL has proven a reliable partner. DRDO has brought in the pvt sector into multiple programs and relies on them as well, but BEL has strengths of its own. In electronics, they are a very strong and capable team.

About the Research-production divorce, well its anachronism is reflected in a range of projects..Arjun - where Avadi took years to come up with even a defined projection of a production run...


Sorry, but you are cherry picking examples here. The OFB is more the exception than the rule, as it has suffered from both lack luster focus on R&D and MOD politicking. Sadly, it is a case of if "anything can go wrong, it will". But even there, for the past 3 years, their independent factories are looking towards coming up with new products.

Your Arjun example doesnt quite factor as well, as the issue for the Arjun has consistently (since 2005 onwards) been first meeting Army acceptance, so what talk of a final version for mass manufacture!! As of 2009, Avadhi had well standardized on a 50 tanks/yr run.

Or our strategic missiles, where our missile production rate is lesser than that of Pakistan!!!


Please! Is anyone in the public aware of how many missiles of each type have been produced by India? Let us not get confused between the production rate of LSP variants and series production, either.

Furthermore, is anyone even aware of how many missiles were "made" by Pakistan as compared to assembled from knock down kits supplied by a known proliferator and its assistants?

As things stand today, the production capabilities in India are a far cry from what existed in the 90's, let alone the 80's.
Facilities are being set up which have an impact on multiple projects and programs.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/new ... 449679.cms

No other country has a set-up like this, where tactical systems R&D is divorced from its production entity..."Basic" research is done typically at universities and commercial defence companies take control of the whole process end-to-end...At least for non-strategic systems...


I am sorry but you really need to look at this issue with more depth. India's set up is a mix of the FSU and the western models. In the FSU too, there were design departments which operated in an individual basis, and were associated with manufacturers who too had their own design capabilities. That is quite similar to the manner in which DRDO and BEL operate. In both countries, this approach (till the FSU imploded) led to a variety of successful programs and products.

Furthermore, DRDO also brought in the private sector into the mix via programs such as IGMDP and the LCA. The Navy also created a mix of public and private enterprises to supply their naval requirements. Now, today, the manner in which the private companies are operating, clearly reflects a modern capitalistic approach with a focus on system integration and not vertical integration - the approach as seen in the west. This again develops the broad based SME network that sustains the larger organizations and will grow the entire Indian defence industrial base.

All in all, with growing liberalization and a more level playing field (there will be hiccups in between eg the TCS program), there is no particular reason that the current model will not be robust enough to meet our future needs.

Furthermore, basic research in India is done both at DRDO, and academia. Industry too is collaborating viz this respect.
http://www.business-standard.com/india/ ... es/365414/

Your worries would have been germane if the present model was incapable of delivery, as things stand, that is not the case.

somnath
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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby somnath » 03 Apr 2010 17:57

Mrinal ji,

First up, splendid set of posts - I picked up a lot from them....Even as I think you are missing the wood (the macro picture) for the trees (individual successes, or "qualified" stories) here..

Let me start with your concluding remark..

Your worries would have been germane if the present model was incapable of delivery, as things stand, that is not the case.


Clearly, the "system", whatever it is, has not delivered on tactical systems...APJ Abdul Kalam spoke of a 70% indigenisation rate about two decades back, the ratio still remains 70% imports, and virtually all major projects we are talking about today are also imports..

But fundamentally, you are making DRDO and DPSU fungible..While DRDO has had a mixed record (widely docuemnted), the gripe is really about the DPSUs...The latter might be spending some monies, a little more now, on R&D, but then ruggedising a product for Indian conditions, or making incremental improvements in imported tech without having the capability to even replicate the same tech within the same generation - these are hardly examples of "R&D", at best there is some "D", certainly not any "R"..

kindly look at the Capex GM had in its auto division for a year, and compare it to whichever auto company you wish to pick in India. Is it similar


http://ir.tatamotors.com/pdf/2009/Confe ... Q3FY10.pdf

Tata Motors will be, and has been having capex of 700-800 million dollars every year - thats about 4-5% of a turnover of 16-17 billion dollars...

And this, despite the 3 billion they spent on JLR acquisition, which was clearly expensive..

GM is a very bad example - it just came out of a Chapter 11 process..Take Ford Motor Company, which came out well from the crisis..

http://www.ford.com/doc/2009_annual_report.pdf

They will spend about 5 billion dollars on a turnover of 105 - again about 4-5%...

So you see, even while scales are different, Indian private sector companies are trying to keep up...At least those that want to keep up with the global joneses...It would be similar if you lookeda the SMEs in the sector as well...The point is not only on "absolute dollar numbers", but with stuff like R&D intensity and results...

NAMICA f.e. was first handed to a pvt manufacturer, when it proved unable to the task at hand, BEL was brought in and delivered.


You sure? Wasnt NAMICA being prodiced by Tata SED?

About the point on production, there is no cherry picking...Its evident across a range of projects/products...NDB seems to have a fine capability in ship design, but MDL's incompetence/lack of initiative means that they churn out frigates in 8 years! And are merely talking of modular construction now, the world has moved on...The data on missiles is not a piece of "guesswork" - Bharat Karnad quotes it extensively in his book, written in 2009, so the data too is quite recent...Ajai Shukla spoke of "ramping up" Arjun's production to 62 only by 2013 - the article was written a few weeks back..


Last, and probably OT, on BHEL..

My point was that this so called Navratna status was the first sign of liberalization in the GOI control structure, and it was a hard fought limited victory. Even today, there are still those who do not look at the PSUs as anything but mass manufacturing units which are basically "cost centers" and any margins that they do earn anyplace and anyhow, should promptly be repatriated to the GOI ministry they belong to


Not true at all, dividends paid by BHEL, or any other PSU, is broadly in line with levels of their pvt sector peers, in case they manage to make money...There has certainyl not been any profit gouging from any PSU ever by the GOI...In fact the Left sometimes suggests somethign on those lines as an alternative to the GOI selling its shares in PSUs to raise money..

Quite frankly, whatever the reason, and GOI ownership can be a big one too, the current DPSU setup has simply not generated enough confidence by example...And thats the crux of the matter...In another thread, I attempted to calculate the "value add" that selected DPSUs (HAL and MDL) generated - the numbers came in at abysmal levels...Soemhow I had expected that..

John
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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby John » 03 Apr 2010 22:36

arun wrote:A return to the prosaic.

BHEL is looking to migrate upward from 76 mm naval guns.

Does anyone know who is being talked to and for what manner of naval gunnery ie: 100 mm or 130 mm?

Most likely Oto 127 mm gun.

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby SNaik » 04 Apr 2010 02:07

Update on 11356s in Kaliningrad:

Teg - Installation of tubing and cables, should be finished by end of May. Some of the weapon and electronic systems are installed, but not all have been supplied to Yantar yet. Fregat, for instance, apparently is installed.

Tarkash - Launch scheduled for end of May/ beginning of June.

Trikand - main engines loaded, diesel-generators and refrigerators to follow, but not supplied yet. After the main mechanisms are loaded, superstructure will be finished and she will be started to ready for launch.

Nair
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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Nair » 04 Apr 2010 04:49

Does anyone know what is the current status of the IAC-1...will it be launched this year as expected or will there be delays?

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby srai » 05 Apr 2010 07:11



It will be interesting to see when the P15 Delhi class will undergo mid-life upgrades and what that upgrade package will look like ...

Here's my speculation:

* Timeline: 2014-2015-2016 (12 month upgrade 1 per year). Note: By 2014, all 3 of the P15A class will be in service with the IN. By 2016, the follow-on order of 4 P-15B may be given (if not earlier). On the other hand, the Rajput class will be reaching the end of their service life around this time (post 2016). So, it seems 2014 through 2016 would be an ideal time to upgrade the P15s, which will allow the IN to maintain an 8-destroyer fleet throughout.

* Main Upgrade package (similar to P15A):
Radar & Sensors
    IAI EL/M-2248 MF-STAR Multi-mission radar
    IAI EL/M-2238 L-band STAR surveillance radar
    BEL HUMSA-NG sonar
    Nagin active towed array sonar
    BEL Electronic Modular Command & Control Applications (EMCCA Mk4) combat management system

Armaments
    4 x 2 Brahmos SSM (inclined - not VLS) [8]
    4 x 12-cell VLS Barak-8 SAM [48]
    4 x 8-cell Barak-1 VLS SAM (may relocate from current location) [32]
    4 x AK-630 30mm guns (2 guns added back if Barak-1 cells relocated)
    4 x indigenous heavyweight torpedo tubes and torpedoes [4]

Austin
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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Austin » 05 Apr 2010 07:23

Any P-15 upgrade will only cover system that can be upgraded cost effectively without any major structural changes to the ship.

I suppose it could be the following

Brahmos replaces Uran
Shtil-1 replaces Shtil
Sonar is replaced with what ever is latest available.
Comprehensive EW/ESM suite upgrade.
LR Radar LW08 may be replaced by what ever P-17 has.

by and large the rest remains the same or same system gets incremental/soft upgrade.

Philip
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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Philip » 05 Apr 2010 13:07

If their hulls are fine,most of the Kashins can carry on until 2020.Re-equipped with VLS B'Mos and Barak should make them still play a key role in the IN's frontline warships.A minimum of 12 DDGHs and 3 10-12,000t CGs (which could carry Shourya and/or B'Mos) are required,the CGs to escort our 3 carriers,armed with LR and SR SAMs,LR SSMs and an ASW suite.24 missile frigates (Shivaliks,Talwars,mostly) 20-24 missile corvettes (mostly P-28s) and the same number of OPVs,plus equivalent numbers of fast attack missile corvettes,will give the IN's surface fleet sufficient cutting edge capability.What is however far more urgent and in a far worse situ is the status of the sub fleet,where the IN's conventional sub inventory is in danger of dropping substantially both in numbers and quality.At least 24 AIP conventional suubs are required with at least half equipped with B'Mos.The other half of European design,could still carry Klub versions and whatever other geenric missiles they operate.The balance fleet should consist of 12 SSBNs and SSGNs,"6+6".

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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Lisa » 05 Apr 2010 14:50

Austin wrote:Any P-15 upgrade will only cover system that can be upgraded cost effectively without any major structural changes to the ship.

I suppose it could be the following

Brahmos replaces Uran
Shtil-1 replaces Shtil
Sonar is replaced with what ever is latest available.
Comprehensive EW/ESM suite upgrade.
LR Radar LW08 may be replaced by what ever P-17 has.

by and large the rest remains the same or same system gets incremental/soft upgrade.


Why has the "Long Beach Solution" never been considered. It would
provide an ICBM type facility in a whole class of vessels complecating a
counter force solution. Anyone, any thoughts?

Anoop. A.
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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Anoop. A. » 05 Apr 2010 14:59

Lisa wrote:Why has the "Long Beach Solution" never been considered. It would
provide an ICBM type facility in a whole class of vessels complecating a
counter force solution. Anyone, any thoughts?

Any system with Inter continental Range will be a strategic nuclear tipped missile. Since Surface vessels are easier to detect and sink than submarines, naval department may not find this idea tempting.

Ankit Desai
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Re: Indian Naval Discussion

Postby Ankit Desai » 05 Apr 2010 19:23

India's Scorpene submarine programme delayed

We have had delays due to various reasons. I expect the first submarine to be delivered in four years time. That is 2014 - 2015. That's a delay of 2 - 2/12 years. There were certain issues to be addressed with the government and the owner. These issues have now been sorted out and we are placing orders for various equipments," said Retired Vice Admiral H S Malhi, Chairman and MD, Mazgaon Docks Limited.


Ankit


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