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

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member_22733
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Re: India's R&D in Defence DRDO, PSUs and Private Sector

Postby member_22733 » 10 Sep 2014 03:43

^^^ I dont know much about chip manufacturing, but I think the above is true for pretty much any industry in India.

We dont need to be cutting edge, we just need a point from which we can "iterate". for ex: If a product is successful, it will get an ROI, which can then be put into process/technology improvements. These processes can be entirely indigenous or imported, but either ways it creates a small ecosystem that can grow rapidly. All the government needs to do is to make it easy for this ecosystem to grow.

The space program is a good example.

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

Postby NRao » 10 Sep 2014 05:05

Well .................

We dont need to be cutting edge,


You are cutting edge in the case where your military is using:

Military chips are usually several generations behind the commercial chips currently in use


Cutting edge is relative and googling - in this case - may not help.

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

Postby Indranil » 10 Sep 2014 05:32

Actually, that is not financially viable. If you want to build a fab worth billions and then run it with sufficient yield you have to have a commercial product. All chips used in modern war machines may not be state of the art now, but they were the systems were initially designed. And all of them went into commercial applications.

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

Postby JayS » 10 Sep 2014 11:03

^^ Even while designing, they don't actually consider state-of-the-art chips, do they?? In mission critical components, they must be using tried and tested old gen stuff only.

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

Postby Yagnasri » 10 Sep 2014 11:21

Has not the fab facility in/near Chandigarh was destroyed/burned down couple of decades back? Just like nuclear thing/thoriam and other rare earth material backstabbing by MMS?

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

Postby sattili » 10 Sep 2014 12:03

Apologies in advance to everyone as this is going to be a long post.

1. Design of the IC which is usually called as IP (Intellectual Property) is different from manufacturing technologies often called as Foundry technology. Eg, ARM core is an IP and TSMC manufactures the chips for other companies which use this ARM Core in their processors.

2. The 2 entities in question are as Karan rightly pointed are FABs which manufacture the Wafers (round discs of 200mm,300mm & 450mm and other sizes often called as brown cookies). The manufacturing technology is often measured in Nano Meters eg 90nm, 65nm, 45nm, 32nm, 20nm, 14nm etc. In simple language this is the gap between the transistors in the microchip. The closer they are placed more transistors you can pack in a chip. Current generation microprocessors pack hundreds of millions of transistors in each chip.

3. What is called cutting edge is relative (thanks NRao for that brilliant nugget). For example Intel is moving some of its factories to 14nm technology. While the biggest foundry TSMC is moving to 20nm this year. TSMC will be able to move to 14nm at least until 2016.
What we’re seeing here is a fundamental shift in how Intel values its own technological prowess. For decades, the company has explicitly linked x86 and foundry technology, with the latter firmly in service to the former, despite occasional attempts to invent a better microarchitecture. Look around today, however, and it’s Intel’s foundry prowess that stands apart. Even after the recent delay, Intel will ship 14nm in volume in the same timeframe (plus or minus a quarter) in which TSMC is shipping 20nm. Intel has already made the jump to FinFET, which TSMC won’t follow until the 2016 timeframe. Intel is on track to be at the forefront of EUV and 450mm wafer adoption, and its III-V semiconductor plans are underway.

If Intel can offer a cost advantage on 14nm where other companies are struggling to do the same on 20nm, it’s got a major marketing advantage that has nothing to do with x86. And it’s going to play that hand for all its worth. Ideally, the company would obviously like to be building its own cores on x86 to put in the smartphone designs that ARM is currently winning, but failing that, capturing the business volume of customers willing to pay a huge premium for cutting-edge foundry technology isn’t a bad way to go.

Source: Hell freezes over: Intel announces plan to fab ARM processors : http://www.extremetech.com/computing/169853-hell-freezes-over-intel-announces-plan-to-fab-arm-processors (I like the title of that article :evil: )

4. Microchip manufacturing is a precise engineering process, "Yield %" is the biggest deciding factor. To explain Yield in layman terms- every wafer manufactured by the FAB contains several squares on it, each square is called a "Die". Each Die could be a processor or combined with other dies to manufacture the final microprocessor. Each of this die contains several hundred millions of transistors. Once the Wafer is manufactured they test each die to make sure all the transistors in each die are working as designed. Some of the dies wont work properly due to the issues in the Etching process used to make them. such dies are marked out and discarded during the packaging process. So the "Yield" is the number of good dies per wafer. Its common to have above 90% yield levels for the Industry. Highest yield I heard was 97% achieved by Intel.

5. Yield decides the commercial viability of manufacturing a microchip. This is the holy grail of the Industry, much like Aircraft engine manufacturing. Each foundry have their own techniques for achieving high yield and they are trade secrets. No one will give you that knowledge (much like aircraft engine tech that we hear on other thread). Every time the foundry retools or moves to new manufacturing tech it needs time to stabilize the process to achieve high yields.

6. Yes many Fabs are tooled in a such way to handle multiple products. However there is a limit to how much they can change without requiring complete re-tooling. This is same as any assembly line manufacturing. Usually commercial Fabs gear up for churning millions of Dies than to do a low rate production as its not commercially viable. They need to keep the fab running at least 80% of their established capacity else it will be loss making proposition.

I found couple of interesting videos that explain the fabrication process better:




7. Several companies run their fabs at different tech levels as not all microprocessors require the smallest nm process. Check the following Wiki page to see how Intel and TSMC on how they keep different permutations and combinations:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_manufacturing_sites
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TSMC

8. Coming to India, we have modest fabrication facilities for our Defense and govt purposes. But there is no commercial Fab. Just to understand the importance this- commercial fabs will allow smaller Indian companies to design their own chips either by creating their own IP or licensing from others and can contract these foundries in India to manufacture them.

9. Our defence related fabrication facilities are outlined in this excellent paper written Dr. VK Aatre http://isssonline.in/journal/01paper08.pdf
In India though the application of electronic, materials and other technologies resulted in the development of defence, aerospace, automobile and other systems, however, the development of basic microelectronics technologies was rather slow and, indeed, was stymied due to the absence of required infrastructural facilities. Recognizing that certain proactive actions are required to propel the development of Micro and Smart System technologies in India, led a group of Scientists and Engineers to form a Society called, ISSS (Institute of Smart Structures and Systems) and mounted National Programs to develop such technologies. This article briefly presents the collection of developments few selective areas.

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

The first MEMS device to be fabricated in India was a pressure sensor developed at IIT, Chennai by Prof. K.N. Bhat. (See Fig. 1.) However, the formation of ISSS following the first International Conference on MEMS and Smart Systems led to the initiation of several activities in this field. One of them was the 5 year National Program on Smart Materials (NPSM) which
initiated modest R&D activities in materials and devices besides establishment of basic infrastructural facilities. The available Silicon IC fabrication facilities – using 1 micron technology – were certainly inadequate to cater for the requirements of VLSIs and ASICs and basic MEMS facilities were built around these existing facilities.

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

MEMS and micro system designers have now four foundries to choose, namely, SCL (Chandigarh), BEL (Bangalore), CEERI (Pilani) and CMET (Pune). SCL caters for 0.18micron CMOS facility in addition to the standard MEMS facility and is deeply involved with several of the NP projects.
.............

CEERI has both 6" and 3" facilities, the latter being used for training purposes. This facility is mainly for R&D work.
The CMET LTCC (low temperature co-fired ceramic) facility covers most of the requirements towards RF and Microfluidics devices and related packaging needs. These foundries have been augmented with essential equipment so that they meet the future project/product requirements. More recently DRDO’s SITAR foundry at Bangalore has established full-fledged MEMS foundry and will shortly have packaging facility for the same.


The highlighted statement about 1micron fabrication facility translates into 1000nm. This is a serious drawback which makes us dependent on Microchips imported from other countries and all the dual use technology denial etc.

10. Original press release posted by Karan includes some important information:
i) M/s Jaiprakash Associates Limited (with IBM, USA and Tower Semiconductor Limited, Israel as partners)
a) Project Cost: Rs 34,399 crore
b) Technology: 90/65/45/28 nm
c) Capacity: 40,000 WSPM
d) Location: Yamuna Expressway, Uttar Pradesh

(ii) M/s HSMC Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. (with ST Microelectronics and Silterra Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. as partners)
a) Project Cost: Rs 29,013 crore
b) Technology: 90/65/45/28/22 nm
c) Capacity: 40,000 WSPM
d) Location: Prantij, Gujarat

If you look at the highlighted portion the technology (90nm to 22nm) and capacity of 40K wafers per month is contemporary to current semiconductor industry. They are going to be cutting edge once they achieve 28/22nm. Imagine if with 1micron fab facilities our scientists can create a marvel like MEMS what can they do if they can access these factories that can do contract manufacture for any ASIC/Microchip that they design. Even a 90nm process will give lot more capability for our scientists and we can achieve self reliance in our defence related Microchips without using foreign IP.

As I said in my earlier post, we have lot of design talent in India. Its about time we get manufacturing experience as well.
Last edited by sattili on 10 Sep 2014 12:20, edited 3 times in total.

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

Postby member_27164 » 10 Sep 2014 12:03

nileshjr,
that may not be entirely true. yes for initial iterations one would prefer tried and tested components then change to state of the art ones. e.g agni 4,5 uses ring laser gyro where 1,2, 3(not sure about 3) dont.

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

Postby sattili » 10 Sep 2014 12:12

Narayana Rao wrote:Has not the fab facility in/near Chandigarh was destroyed/burned down couple of decades back? Just like nuclear thing/thoriam and other rare earth material backstabbing by MMS?

How could MMS possibly involved in a fire accident that happened in 1989, he is not even in politics at that time. And why is that we are struck to the bad news only?

As per Wiki, SCL Chandigarh underwent an upgrade with the help from Tower Semiconductors Israel in 2010. As per the paper that I quoted in my above post, it is operational with 0.18micron facility as of 2012.

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

Postby Indranil » 10 Sep 2014 12:18

nileshjr wrote:^^ Even while designing, they don't actually consider state-of-the-art chips, do they?? In mission critical components, they must be using tried and tested old gen stuff only.


Yes, but those tried and tested stuff was a commercial product produced for use in some commodity application at that time. The processors are bought and kept aside for integration later. For example, one cannot set up a financially viable plant to generate Pentium 1 processors today, even though those are the processors used in state-of-art defense machinery. All the defense machinery put together is not enough to justify it. Look at the targets of these fabs: 40,000 chips per month to start off with!

Satilli ji, excellent post! Just one information nugget, the state-of-art for memory is currently 17nm, and is likely to stay at that for a way for a while now. The aspect ratio of the capacitors is too large and they don't think they can condense any further. So they are all starting to go 3D now. Samsung has gone 3D-NAND, while Micron has showcased 3D-RAM for the past couple of years. So if we can get to 22 nm fast, it will be a great catch-up.

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

Postby sattili » 10 Sep 2014 12:52

indranilroy wrote:Yes, but those tried and tested stuff was a commercial product produced for use in some commodity application at that time. The processors are bought and kept aside for integration later. For example, one cannot set up a financially viable plant to generate Pentium 1 processors today, even though those are the processors used in state-of-art defense machinery. All the defense machinery put together is not enough to justify it. Look at the targets of these fabs: 40,000 chips per month to start off with!

Satilli ji, excellent post! Just one information nugget, the state-of-art for memory is currently 17nm, and is likely to stay at that for a way for a while now. The aspect ratio of the capacitors is too large and they don't think they can condense any further. So they are all starting to go 3D now. Samsung has gone 3D-NAND, while Micron has showcased 3D-RAM for the past couple of years. So if we can get to 22 nm fast, it will be a great catch-up.

Thank you Indranilji. My knowledge about memory is industry is very less. thanks for the information.

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

Postby Neela » 10 Sep 2014 14:51

Excellent post sattili-ji
2. The 2 entities in question are as Karan rightly pointed are FABs which manufacture the Wafers (round discs of 200mm,300mm & 450mm and other sizes often called as brown cookies). The manufacturing technology is often measured in Nano Meters eg 90nm, 65nm, 45nm, 32nm, 20nm, 14nm etc. In simple language this is the gap between the transistors in the microchip. The closer they are placed more transistors you can pack in a chip. Current generation microprocessors pack hundreds of millions of transistors in each chip.


The 14nm refers to what is called the Critical Dimension and is actually the smallest dimension of the poly-silicon gate oif the transistor that can be manufactured reliably.
The gate of the transistor is where you apply a 0 or 1 voltage to enable the device to switch.
( It is not the gap between transistors. The gap between transistors is called the Shallow trench isolation plug )
An incident light of wavelength 193nm (!!!! ) is used to manufacture devices with Crti.Dim less than 1/6th of wavelength.. A mask containing the pattern to be printed lies between the incident light and the wafer. Interference patterns are used to print dimensions smaller than the wavelenth of incident light. For Critical dim. less than 22nm , double patterning is used where the wafer gets two exposures.

Just to understand the importance this- commercial fabs will allow smaller Indian companies to design their own chips either by creating their own IP or licensing from others and can contract these foundries in India to manufacture them.

That is correct. Local and cheaper access to fab will boost local design skills. But, what the two fabs in India will need are the large volume products (like mobile phone cores etc) to keep money flowing (as you explained)

And they are not necessarily going to help the defense industry in India in a big way. Yes there are some processors that we can manufacture but defence industry needs are different.
MEMS processes use 90nm , 130m, 180nm and they are used in sensors.
Gallium nitride ( GaN ) , Silicon Germanium ( Si-Ge) and Mercury-Cadmium-Telluride (Hg-Cd-Te ) are processes we need for radars and IR receivers.
Last edited by Neela on 10 Sep 2014 16:15, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby sum » 10 Sep 2014 15:21

^^ just small correction in a excellent post:
3. What is called cutting edge is relative (thanks NRao for that brilliant nugget). For example Intel is moving some of its factories to 14nm technology. While the biggest foundry TSMC is moving to 20nm this year. TSMC will be able to move to 14nm at least until 2016.

TSMC is already in 16FF and lots of chips are already out with the same across companies ( though yield is still a big Q)

Samsung and Global Foundries have tied up for the competing 14nm process and they expect to be out by next year ( they are fighting over the iPhone-7 processor which is still deciding whether to use TSMC 16FF( they went with TSMC 28nm for iPhone6) or Samsung 14nm)

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

Postby sattili » 10 Sep 2014 18:13

Thank you Neela and Sum for that great information.

And they are not necessarily going to help the defense industry in India in a big way. Yes there are some processors that we can manufacture but defence industry needs are different. MEMS processes use 90nm , 130m, 180nm and they are used in sensors. Gallium nitride ( GaN ) , Silicon Germanium ( Si-Ge) and Mercury-Cadmium-Telluride (Hg-Cd-Te ) are processes we need for radars and IR receivers.

Agree with your point Neela-ji. Its just my wishful thinking that having a foundry that can churn out microcontrollers of our own IP rather than depend on foreign suppliers is very useful. This stems from the fact the charade that ADE and VSSC had to go through to get i960 microcontrollers to be used in LCA Tejas and for ISRO's projects.
The US Department of Justice’s indictment of electronics firm Cirrus is mainly for the transfer of 500 i960 microprocessors for Tejas Light Combat Aircraft.
Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-the-microprocessors-were-bought-for-tejas-lca-project-1088726

IMO desi efforts to create general purpose microprocessors are limited by the current foundry technology we have. Wiki page for ANURAG has following:
ANURAG has designed and developed general-purpose microprocessors- ANUPAMA and ABACUS. ANUPAMA is a 32-bit RISC processor, and works at 33 MHz clock speed.
.........
ABACUS is a 32-bit processor for multi-tasking applications with virtual memory support. It is designed around ANUPAMA core with additions like MMU, two levels of cache, double precision FPU, SDRAM controller.
........
ANURAG has designed a 16-bit DSP processor, which is available as an IP core and the design is packaged in 120-pin CPGA. It has also designed other processors and arithmetic cores. ANURAG has also been able to fabricate CMOS designs up to 1 micrometre size and with up to 100,000 gates. Die sizes of 14 x 14 mm have been achieved.

If the desi efforts get a boost because we have foundries within our boundaries, it would be fantastic. However commercial viability of such a project for these private firms is questionable.

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

Postby ramana » 11 Sep 2014 01:24

The Hindu for a change praises BEL:

Story of a Sterling Public Enterprise

The story of a sterling public enterprise

S. V. S. Raghavan


INSIDE THE SOLID STATE — The Story of Bharat Electronics: S. Krishnan, S. Prabhala, V.K. Koshy; Westland Books Pvt. Ltd., 61, Alapakkam Main Road, Maduravoyal, Chennai-600095. Rs. 1500..


“A more happy case was that of the Versatile Console System (VCS) for naval ships. D. Lakshmi, the first recruited woman engineer of BEL, handled this development and successfully completed it on time and within the budget. The first system was fitted during the modernisation of INS Vikrant. The saree-clad Lakshmi bravely navigated her way through the maze of cables and ladders typical of a ship under construction and successfully installed and commissioned the system.

Lakshmi also worked on transistorised gun control equipment for battle tanks. Standing atop a fast-moving, revolving turret and testing the gun control equipment is not an easy job and certainly not considered a “womanly” job. But Lakshmi completed the test successfully and won the admiration of the Army personnel, who had earlier scoffed at her.


S. Rangarajan, better known as Sujatha, and a leading writer of Tamil fiction, was the computer engineer who developed the Electronic Voting Machine which has made it possible for 130 crores of Indians to vote in the general election without a glitch.”

Such fascinating nuggets are found throughout the book “Inside the Solid State — The Story of Bharat Electronics”.

The story of BEL is a welcome new arrival in the neglected genre of company histories in this country. This nearly 800-page volume not only chronicles the saga of one of the prized jewels in India’s public sector, it also addresses the key issues that confront hi-tech manufacturing in this country and offers a critique of the Government’s policy regarding public enterprises. Most of the published company histories turn out to be hagiographies of the bosses rather than objective chronicles of the enterprise, but this book differs.

Though primarily meant for serious students of Business Schools, the book also caters to the interested lay reader. The first thing that strikes the reader is the reader-friendly writing style. Flavoured with anecdotes and laced with a dash of humour, it really reads like a story and despite its size, readers can navigate through the book thanks to the abstracts provided at the start of each chapter. The general reader can get a fair idea of the company’s history by reading through Part I (the CEOs). Practising managers and students of management can go on to Part II (Company’s strategies). And readers interested in electronics can go through the relevant chapters.

The key factor for the company’s success is shown to be the company’s commitment towards developing indigenous technology as evidenced by the ratio of its R&D expenditure to sales, which is amongst the highest in the country. The book also reveals how BEL was able to overcome the major challenge posed by the U.S. sanctions not only by the strength of its R&D but also by a bold ‘out of the box’ strategic decision to use ordinary commercial grade components in place of military grade components in some cases and redesign products without affecting their performance.

Other cases in which BEL developed indigenous products in the face of foreign firms quoting unreasonable prices or trying to exploit monopoly situations, have also been outlined. A typical example is the case of the Fly catcher radar.

The book also deals with some of the major issues that confront India today. It emphasises the need to move away from conventional planning to multi-scenario planning. In a way, this has anticipated the recent decision of the Government to abolish the Planning Commission.

Regarding FDI in manufacturing, the book cautions that the mere dismantling of the Licence regime and opening of doors to foreign companies would not achieve much. Foreign companies are unlikely to rush in unless the local outfit can offer substantial technological contribution by way of innovation or adaptation. In this context, the book gives a detailed account of the steps taken by China in the 1980s and 1990s for laying down high-class technology infrastructure.

The Government’s handling of public enterprises comes in for a frank appraisal in this book. Despite being a top performer, the company was consistently denied a free hand not only in strategic decision-making but even in purely operational matters. When the company tied up with Hewlett Packard, a global leader in several hi-tech product lines, and was set to become its global manufacturing hub, the Government scuttled the deal despite the Company’s frantic appeals and this was at a time when China was entering into hundreds of such tie-ups in several fields.

Among the many instances cited in the book, “five CEOs in a period of ten years” really takes the cake. Even housemaids are rarely changed that often!

The company has generally been competently led but, two CMDs, BV Baliga and VK Koshi have played key roles in critical periods and made BEL the great success story it is today.

But what about the future? With the defence sector thrown open to private firms and MNCs — can BEL hold its own? The answer is simple. Will it be allowed a level playing field?

The book cites an instance where BEL made a winning takeover offer but, by the time government approval came, a nimble-footed intruder from the private sector had pirated the chance away. This should not continue to happen. The approvals needed for a PSE should be no more (and no less) than those for the private sector.

Can the Modi government ensure this?

S Krishnan the lead author of this book was the Company’s first Finance Director and his stints in the Government, BHEL and IIM have helped to place the Company’s issues in the larger national context. S Prabhala and VK Koshi co-authors were former CMDs of the Company.

However, the book could have done without some avoidable repetition which might put off some of the readers. The proof reading has also been less than perfect.

But these are minor flaws and this book deserves to be read by our managers, policy makers and management teachers.

It is an outstanding effort. Alongside, one also feels sad that the much-celebrated Padma Awards have bypassed people like Lakshmi and S. Rangarajan who blazed new trails and have left a legacy for all times to come. :(

INSIDE THE SOLID STATE — The Story of Bharat Electronics: S. Krishnan, S. Prabhala, V.K. Koshy; Westland Books Pvt. Ltd., 61, Alapakkam Main Road, Maduravoyal, Chennai-600095. Rs. 1500.


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

Postby Vipul » 11 Sep 2014 04:44

Auto components leader Bharat Forge turns focus to defence technology.

Flashback to 1999, and the Kargil war. The military is forced to abort missions due to heavy casualties. Then it decides to deploy the controversial Bofors gun to destroy Pakistani outposts from various vantage points. The strategy pays off, but the military realises it will soon run out of ammunition to feed the howitzers.

At the urging of army commanders, the defence ministry turns to Baba Kalyani and his company Bharat Forgeto make shells for its Bofors 155mm howitzer Kalyani, chairman of the Bharat Forge Group, recalls how the company got the "emergency order" to make 1 lakh shells. That's how the company's ability to turn out high-quality products at short notice, which helped burnish its global reputation in the auto parts industry, came to play a role in history.

More than a decade since then, the group led by flagship Bharat Forge is ready with artillery equipment that the Indian defence forces will soon start testing. This puts it nicely in placeto take advantage of the Narendra Modi government's initiative to encourage greater private participation in the defence sector.

"A lot of emphasis on local manufacturing of defence products has been put by the current government. Thus, companies like us, who've taken defence seriously, are now production-ready," Kalyani told ET in an exclusive interview.

The government has also opened up the sector to more overseas investments to persuade foreign companies to transfer technology to Indian firms. To those who would question the competence of a forging company entering the high-tech defence space, Kalyani said manufacturers such as Bharat Forge are especially well-qualified to do so.

"Companies like us from basic industries such as metallurgy and forging are the ones that are engaged in defence worldwide," he reasoned. For its artillery equipment venture, the Indian company has a joint venture with Elbit Systems, an Israeli defence equipment maker. The venture will initially work on the 155mm howitzer modernisation programme.

Bharat Forge has also built a howitzer from scratch that Kalyani says has far greater firepower than even the Bofors gun that's currently in use. "Our artillery gun would be better than Bofors," he asserted. "On the operational parameter, it is better in terms that it can move at 25 km an hour on its own, and the gun would take 52 calibre rounds compared with the 39 calibre of Bofors. It would have 'steer by wire', which the Bofors guns do not possess," he said.

By late September or early October, the Indian Army will start testing Bharat Forge's artillery equipment. An ultra light gun will be ready for testing by late September while trials of the 155mm artillery gun will start by December. A 155mm ultra light gun will be ready for testing by the middle of next year. (2 different ultra light guns?)

The company is also actively scouting for opportunities in the small arms space, although the government is yet to give permission to private companies to manufacture such weapons. Bharat Forge decided to diversify away from the automobile sector after the global economic turmoil hit in 2008 and plant capacity had to be idled.

"We did a couple of things. We tightened costs and adopted lean manufacturing processes. We invested heavily in R&D to develop new products" to mitigate the effects of the slump. But "when the Indian economy got battered, we too got battered in the process". This forced the company to look at sectors it could enter by leveraging its metallurgical and forging prowess. Components for the shale gas fracking, aerospace, offshore oil & gas exploration and defence industries were shortlisted.

While bets on offshore oil & gas and shale gas have paid rich dividends thanks to orders from US companies, components for aerospace equipment will need more time to develop and test. The company will focus on India for its defence equipment strategy over the next decade.

"Unless we are recognised in the domestic market, who will acknowledge us abroad?" Kalyani asked. The defence market is a potentially massive one. India's defence imports are currently worth about $20 billion a year While bets on offshore oil & gas and shale gas have paid rich dividends thanks to orders from US companies, components for aerospace equipment will need more time to develop and test. The company will focus on India for its defence equipment strategy over the next decade.

Along with the offset clause, any other mandatory local manufacturing requirements would be a very big opportunity for Indian companies. An offset clause relates to the local-manufacturing pledge an overseas company needs to make in return for orders. Kapil Singh and Nishit Jalan of Nomura didn't put a number to the defence opportunity in a July 30 research report.

"With the focus of the Indian government on local sourcing and hike in FDI in defence to 49 per cent, the revenue opportunity for the company would be very large but difficult to build in our earnings estimates," they said.

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

Postby RoyG » 11 Sep 2014 05:44

Just induct a few hundred of those 45 caliber guns developed by DPSU and then just go ahead and induct the 52 caliber guns from kalyani forge.

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

Postby srai » 11 Sep 2014 08:29

RoyG wrote:Just induct a few hundred of those 45 caliber guns developed by DPSU and then just go ahead and induct the 52 caliber guns from kalyani forge.


Given the amount of multiple trials-fixing-testing cycles the IA would do on the Bharat Forge 155mm 52 calibre guns, IMO it would take at least 5 years (if not more) before it will be inducted into the service. Then depending on firm quantities ordered BF would need to setup a profitable production line delivering x number of units/year rate. It takes around 2 years before first deliveries can begin. Then it would take a few more years to setup support infrastructure, ammunition, develop tactics and train units. Again, looking at historical order patterns by the IA initial orders may only be for 140 or so guns, and then a few years later another order may be placed for little bit more (like 400 guns). It would be at least 10 years before we get to this point of few hundred guns order.

So as a risk mitigation strategy, it is essential that 400-600 OFB Bofors 155mm 39 calibre guns continue to be inducted until the time when Bharat Forge and other 155mm 52 calibre guns are ordered and inducted in larger quantities. Besides, some of the older Bofors guns would be retiring/cannibalised of spares in the next 10 years.
Last edited by srai on 11 Sep 2014 09:22, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby vic » 11 Sep 2014 08:49

Can a guru write a short explanation about various imp semi conductor products and tech required for manufacturing them, for layperson like me. For instance what is tech required for things like micropocessors, memory chips, CMOS, MEMS, detectors, VLSI, ASICs and the hell are these things?

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

Postby shiv » 11 Sep 2014 08:54

Vipul wrote:
"Unless we are recognized in the domestic market, who will acknowledge us abroad?" Kalyani asked.

The fantastic thing about the Indian armed forces is that we are willing to recognize foreign zeroes with no domestic market - and make a good name for the foreigner by making do with the stuff we get. That is exactly what we did with the Folland Gnat.

Here is what Wiki says about the company Folland aircraft
The first aircraft of its own design to fly was the Folland Fo.108 in 1940. Designed and built to meet the Air Ministry Specification 43/47 for a flying engine testbed it was generally known as the 43/47 or by the nickname "Folland Frightful" from its unusual appearance.

The Folland F.115 and F.116 designs were tendered to meet Specification E.28/40 for a research aircraft to investigate the issues of landing weight for aircraft operating from carriers. The F.116 design was powered by a Centaurus radial and used a variable incidence wing on an airframe estimated at around 18,250 lb (8,300 kg). Two prototypes were ordered but the project was cancelled in 1943 as most of the problems had already been overcome, and neither prototype was completed.[3]

W. E. W. Petter, who had designed the Westland Lysander, English Electric Canberra and English Electric Lightning, joined the company as managing director in 1950.[4] He designed the Folland Midge prototype lightweight jet fighter which first flew 11 August 1954.[4] This was followed by the Folland Gnat advanced training jet (18 July 1955).[4] Both were built at Hamble until the 1960s. Follands also used an airfield at Chilbolton formerly RAF Chilbolton where they Flight Tested the Folland Midge and Folland Gnat.

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

Postby shiv » 11 Sep 2014 09:34

Here is some more information about Folland's first production aircraft
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folland_Fo.108
Five of the twelve production aircraft were lost in crashes, the type earning the nickname "Frightener" as a result.[3] The last examples of the Fo.108 were withdrawn from service in 1945.[4] De Havilland's engine division used a Fo. 108 into 1946.[5]


And guess what? Folland's next aircraft was the Folland Gnat, selected by the IAF as a fighter.

The rest, they say, is history

Folland, the company had nothing, zilch, nada going for it. But yet..

Some things simply amaze me..

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

Postby member_22539 » 11 Sep 2014 09:37

shiv wrote:The fantastic thing about the Indian armed forces is that we are willing to recognize foreign zeroes with no domestic market - and make a good name for the foreigner by making do with the stuff we get. That is exactly what we did with the Folland Gnat.



Too bad that they don't extend the same generosity to indigenous products.

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

Postby shiv » 11 Sep 2014 09:40

Why did the the Americans, Germans and Canadians continue to use the F-104?

Why did the Brits stick with their Lightning
http://in.rbth.com/articles/2012/12/20/ ... 21167.html
Between 1960 and 1987, the German air force flew nearly a thousand F-104s and lost 292. In a similar time frame, the Canadian air force lost over 100 of their 200 Starfighters. The highly experienced pilots of the British air force didn’t fare any better, crashing over a hundred of their 300 Lightnings over a period of 25 years.

In a report prepared for the US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, C.J. Knapp and R. Johnson revealed that during a 19-year period from 1975-93 there were 190 Class A – or major – mishaps involving 204 F-16s and 217 aircrew.

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 02:21

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City ... 206414.cms

DRDO to set up electronic warfare lab in Kadapa
TNN | Sep 11, 2014, 02.13 AM IST

HYDERABAD: The DRDO is planning to set up an electronic warfare lab and an evaluation facility at Kopparthi village in Kadapa district.

In the first phase, DRDO will invest Rs 468 crore and further increase it to Rs 10,000 crore over the next 10 years. During a meeting with DRDO officials on Wednesday, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu assured all possible help and directed the state government officials to provide adequate land needed to set up the project.

The officials informed the chief minister that about 3,383 acres of land has been identified in Kopparthi village for the laboratory, which will house the electronic warfare lab. They told the chief minister that the facility would also attract more investments from locals as well as foreign firms. "The phase-I of the project will be completed in 42 months. The facility will provide about 1,500 jobs to skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled personnel," an official told the CM.

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 08:11

Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), the Bangalore-based public sector defence company, is aiming at achieving 7% of its total turnover from exports by 2018-19. Presently, the company's export sales account for about 4% of the total turnover.

For the year ended March 2014, BEL achieved an all-time high export sales of $42 million, a growth of 28% over the previous year's export turnover of $32.78 million. The company has an export order book of $194 million as on April 1, 2014, which includes offset order book of $28.45 million, the company said in its annual report.

For the year 2014-15, BEL has set a target of achieving an export turnover of $59.75 million.

During the year 2013-14, for the first time, BEL exported Sonar systems. Other major range of products exported includes Automatic Identification System, Radar Warning Systems, Radar Finger Printing System, Casings, Stators and Electro Mechanical parts among others.

"BEL has established itself as a supply chain partner of global players like Boeing and Hamilton Sunstrand. Last year, the company commenced manufacturing of aircraft cable looms for Pilatus of Switzerland," the company said.

In 2013-14, BEL participated in three international exhibitions to showcase its products and capabilities. The company is also interacting with Ministry of External Affairs for supply of coastal surveillance radar system to friendly countries of India, the annual report said.

BEL is also anticipating sizeable export orders on account of the Offset policy in defence procurements. In this regard, BEL is interacting with many foreign companies like Elbit Systems, Boing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, SAAB, Thales, IAI for possible offset business arising out of various RFPs issued by ministry of defence, government of India. BEL has already signed MoUs with these companies.

For the year ended March 2014, BEL reported a net profit of Rs 932 crore as against Rs 890 crore in the previous year, showing a growth of 4.7%. Its turnover grew marginally by 2.7% to Rs 6,174 crore.

Turnover from indigenously developed products is 85%, of which, 41% came from BEL own products and 44% came from products developed in association with DRDO and other National Labs. The remaining 15% came from products for which technologies were acquired through foreign firms. The defence sector contributed 83% of the total turnover, while the balance came from the civilian business. The order book as on April 1, 2014 stood at Rs 23,452 crore.

The company is aiming at a turnover of Rs 7,000 crore in 2014-15, a growth of 13.4% over the previous year.


http://www.business-standard.com/articl ... 412_1.html

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 08:11

HMT unit enters defence production
S. Anandan
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Koc ... 381481.ece

In a significant step, HMT Machine Tools at Kalamassery has made a foray into defence manufacturing by producing directing gears, a ship-borne positioning mechanism, for sonars fitted on warships for tracking enemy submarines.

HMT Machine Tools executed the project in collaboration with the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), a DRDO lab that designs and develops sonars and underwater surveillance and communication systems for the Indian Navy, and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), which manufactures the whole system. The directing gears made at HMT will be handed over to Ajit T. Kalghatgi, BEL’s director (research and development), on Friday.

‘A first’

Sources said it was the first time that directing gears for sonars had been designed and produced within the country. The contract for three directing gears, they said, was valued at Rs.16 crore and was placed on HMT to go with an export-variant of a successful Indian hull-mounted sonar for fitment aboard offshore patrol vessels (OPV) being constructed in Myanmar.

However, after successful testing and evaluation of the equipment, the Indian Navy is reported to have expressed interest in using it for sonars on its warships.

Mr. Kalghatgi said while the compacted directing gear, capable of supporting sonar transducer arrays weighing 4.5 tonnes, was primarily intended for use along with hull-mounted sonars, it could be customised for positioning towed array systems as well.

“They are capable of operating in sea state 6, meaning extreme turbulent oceans, and can be tweaked for use aboard Indian and foreign warships,” said a source. Made of special grade marine steel and bronze alloy, the gears matched world standards, he added.


Self-reliance

The Indian Navy has attained self-reliance in underwater systems with the NPOL making most surface ship and submarine sonars for it. The hull-mounted sonar ‘Humsa’ and its new generation variants have been fitted on frontline surface platforms of the Navy, while the submarines don ‘Ushus’ and its variant ‘Payal’.

“Bharat Electronics is the industry partner producing these systems. Kerala PSU Keltron has chipped in lately to play a role in making towed array systems,” a source said.

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 08:13

DFRL sends ready-to eat food for J&K flood victims
http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health ... 348112.ece

The city-based Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), which specialises in making specialised ration for the defence personnel and their varying needs, airlifted 5 tonnes of ready-to-eat processed food for the flood victims in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.

This followed a request from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) headquarters. The 5 tonnes of food equals to 35,000 meals, each providing 2,800 calories. The DFRL has formulated 10 varieties of meals, each containing rice, chapattis, different types of curries and sweets.


Harsha Vardhan Batra, Director, DFRL, told The Hindu that they had been asked to prepare another 4 to 5 tonnes of ready-to-eat meals at short notice, and the staff were geared up for that.

“We are a research laboratory not engaged in mass production of food but the nearly 250 staff and students of the institute rose to the occasion and worked round the clock to assemble and pack the food in 24 hours. We received orders on Sunday night and began working on Monday and the consignment was airlifted on Tuesday,” Dr. Batra said.

The DRDO had sent a special carrier from New Delhi to airlift the consignment, according to him. The food items sent from the DFRL are read-to-eat and wholesome and have a shelf life of over one year.

The staff may require another three days to prepare an additional 5 tonnes of food, he said.

A premier research institution affiliated to DRDO, DFRL has developed food technology and ration packs that are light to carry for the Army, the Air Force and the Navy. Established in 1961, the DFRL has formulated specialised ration to the jawans stationed at the Siachen Glacier where cooking is impossible due to freezing temperatures and high altitude. The DFRL has been the sole supplier of ration to India’s Antarctica expedition as also the Indo-Soviet space expedition apart from catering to the needs of the Army mountaineering squads to Kanchenjunga and Mt. Everest.

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 08:14

Xposting this one - might be useful for both threads

Scientists say Himalayan herb is modern-day sanjeevani

Rhodiola, a herb found in the cold and highland climate, has led the country’s leading scientists to wonder if it is the end to the quest for sanjeevani, the mythical herb that gave renewed life to Ram’s brother Lakshman in the epic Ramayana.


In the high, hostile peaks of the Himalayas where sustaining life is a challenge in itself, scientists say they have found a “wonder herb” that can regulate the immune system, help adapt to the mountain environment and, above all, protect from radioactivity.

Rhodiola, a herb found in the cold and highland climate, has led the country’s leading scientists to wonder if it is the end to the quest for sanjeevani, the mythical herb that gave renewed life to Ram’s brother Lakshman in the epic Ramayana.

Locally called ‘Solo’ in Ladakh, the qualities of Rhodiola were largely unknown so far. The leafy parts of the plant were used as vegetable by locals. However, research by the Leh-based Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) is exploring the therapeutic values of the herb.

"Rhodiola is a wonder plant that has immunomodulatory [enhancing immune], adaptogenic [adapting to difficult climatic condition] and radio-protecting abilities due to presence of secondary metabolites and phytoactive compounds unique to the plant,” R.B. Srivastava, Director, DIHAR, told IANS.

Mr. Srivastava said the herb can mitigate the effects of gamma radiation used in bombs in biochemical warfare. The Leh-based lab of the DRDO, the world’s highest agro-animal research laboratory, has been studying this wonder plant for more than a decade. “While its adaptogenic qualities can help the soldiers in adjusting to the low pressure, low oxygen environment, the plant has also been found to have anti-depressant and appetiser properties,” said Mr. Srivastava

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health ... 348112.ece

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 08:15

http://southasia.foreignpolicy.com/post ... me_changer

India is currently working upon a series of DEWs to improve its anti-ballistic missile capability. According to officials at the Laser Science and Technology Center (LASTEC), a laboratory developing lasers and related technologies, belonging to the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) - an agency under India's Ministry of Defence working on various areas of military technology while striving to meet cutting edge weapons technology requirements - a laser weapon (one among the DEWs pack) could fire a beam with a potency of 25 kilowatts to intercept and destruct an incoming ballistic missile in its terminal phase within the range of seven kilometers (4.3 miles). The targeting laser beam raises the shell temperature of the ballistic missile to 400+ degrees Fahrenheit, as a consequence of which the ballistic missile would explode.

Work is also in progress for a 100-kilowatt solid-state laser system to eliminate missiles that are in their boost phase. Besides, LASTEC, functioning under the DRDO, with a mandate to develop DEWs for the Indian Armed Forces, announced in 2010 that it was developing a vehicle-mounted gas dynamic laser-based DEW system under its Aditya project, slated for completion by 2013. Having already overshot its time stipulation, this project is still a work in progress. Once ready, the Aditya project will be a technology demonstrator to prove beam control technology. Last, LASTEC will commence developing solid-state lasers, for which no timeline has yet been set, at least in the public domain.

Although the DRDO, the premier arm of the Ministry of Defence, has made ambitious technology announcements, it needs to be underscored that the plans to develop these high-powered laser weapons are still in their nascent stage. India, not surprisingly, is expected to be confronted with DEWs related research and development bottlenecks, beginning with the expected deficient funding. Post overcoming this challenge, perhaps the most mounting test would be to master the laser's targeting and tracking system.


While the DRDO has identified DEWs as among key thrust technologies for the next decade, the effort to develop and transform superior technology into affordable and critical military capabilities, decisive factors such as affordability, suitability, dual use, technology base, and modular design will be uphill tasks. Perhaps the greatest technical challenge for the DRDO would come in the form of finding reliable and affordable system integration meeting military platform requirements. Presently, India's DEWs system are in the research and development stage, and the earliest timeline for them to move out from the laboratory to the battlefield for operational testing and subsequent deployment, going by current trends, should likely be around 2025 or even later.

Dr. Monika Chansoria is a senior fellow at the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, the autonomous think tank of the Indian Army in New Delhi and her latest book is titled Nuclear China: A Veiled Secret. Follow her on Twitter: @MonikaChansoria

http://southasia.foreignpolicy.com/post ... me_changer

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 08:16

http://www.army-technology.com/news/new ... es-4354739

The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is planning to develop new surface-to-air missiles and man portable anti-tank guided missile in the next few years.

DRDO chief and Indian defence minister scientific adviser Avinash Chander was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying: "We are going to have surface-to-air missile[s], which will be on the move, tracaking. We are also working [on] missiles ... [that] stop and launch within a few seconds.
"The aim is [in the] next five years you will see at least five different types of missiles."

"We are also working on man-portable anti-tank missile[s], which can be fired from shoulders. We are planning to bring out these systems within the next four years."

India has reduced the timeframe for a missile development to four to five years from the previous eight to ten years, according to Chander. He added: "The aim is [in the] next five years you will see at least five different types of missiles covering different spectrums altogether."

The missiles are expected to be designed for different roles, including surface-to-surface, anti-tank, cruise, longer range and strategic.

Specifically, the short-range surface-to-air missile is likely to have two vehicle configurations, and will be supplied to the Indian Army.


Discussing other DRDO projects, Chander said: "We are working on other variations also, so that we have [a] total envelope of surface-to-air capabilities.

"In future, we will aim to work on [a] longer range missile of 200-plus kms. We are working on cruise missiles, which will cover ship launch, air launch, submarine launch and ground launch versions.


"We are expecting the second test-launch of [the] Nirbhay (missile) to happen within a month."

When questioned about when India would stop missile imports, Chander said: "Our target is thereafter (2022) we should not have to import any class of missiles."

The DRDO has recently been ordered by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to complete weapons development programmes on time, in a bid to make the country a global leader in defence.

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 08:16

Nirbhay engine?
http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/ ... 378675.ece

DRDO to Set Up Rs 1,600 Crore Gas Turbine Project at NSP

By Express News Service

Published: 14th August 2014 06:00 AM

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao discussing with officials at the Secretariat in Hyderabad on Wednesday the prospects of establishing a unit of Defence Research & Development Organisation at Nagarjunasagar. | EXPRESS PHOTO

HYDERABAD: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will set up a first gas turbine project in the country at Nagarjuna Sagar in Nalgonda district with an estimated cost of Rs 1,600 crore.

The DRDO officials searched several sites across the country and finally found the the site near NSP suitable for the project. Currently, the DRDO is dependent on gas turbine project in Moscow for its needs.


Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao held a meeting with the officials on the proposed gas turbine project here on Wednesday.

The chief minister said that the Telangana government would allocate 100 acres for the project at Nagarjuna Sagar apaprt from the required water and power to the DRDO, he said.

Additional land will also be allotted to the DRDO at the same place in future for its research and development operations, the chief minister said.


Chandrasekhar Rao said that the proposed project will also provide direct and indirect employment to hundreds of people in Telangana.

The Telangana government has also decided to construct a airstrip for the convenience of officials and tourists, says a release from the CMO.

However, the official release from the CMO stated that the DRDO will set up a plant and did not mention the name of the plant.

Highly placed sources told Express that it is a gas turbine project and they refused to elaborate stating that it was defence secret.

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 08:17

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/t ... 350702.ece

Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said that his ministry intended to promote bio-digester toilets and other civilian technologies developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in a big way.

Talking to reporters after inaugurating a two-day international conference on ‘Advanced Avionics’ at the Research Centre Imarat (RCI) here on Monday, he said there was a need to take advantage of science and technology to better the lives of common people. He said that although there was no dearth of onion production, there was still a shortage. Technology developed to preserve onions for longer periods can be used to overcome the shortage.

Citing examples of mosquito repellents, mobile water treatment plants, high nutrient value packaged food and medical equipment developed by DRDO, he said these were no ordinary innovations. Observing that the aim was to make the life of common more comfortable, he said that his ministry would offer incentives to State governments to implement necessary schemes.


Mr. Naidu said that a new mission in place of JNNRUM was in the advanced stage of finalisation. As part of the nationwide launch of Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhana Yojana, he will inaugurate the scheme in Hyderabad on August 28. Under the scheme, a person having a bank account will become eligible for life insurance worth Rs.1 lakh.

Earlier, inaugurating the conference, he lauded the RCI’s contribution to the development of different missiles. He said, “We have achieved great strides in missile technologies. But we are importing most of our defence equipment. The government wants to reduce this considerably. We want to establish manufacturing facilities in India to cut imports,” the Minister added.

Recalling that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that India should be able to export military hardware to other nations in the next 10 years, he said that a large quality manufacturing base was required to achieve it.

Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister and Director-General DRDO, Avinash Chander, referred to different technologies developed by RCI for missiles over the years and said whenever India was challenged by the denial of technology, the country rose to the occasion. “You deny, we prosper has been our motto,” he quipped.

V.G. Sekaran, Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems, DRDO, said the field of avionics was witnessing fast-paced technological innovations and wanted scientists to configure systems that would take care of future requirements.

RCI Director, G. Satheesh Reddy, who gave an overview of the work done at RCI in the last 25 years, said the institution was gearing up to undertake futuristic research and make products that would be the first of their kind.

The conference is being organised to mark the conclusion of the silver jubilee celebrations of RCI.

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 08:17

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... 139095.cms

DRDO lab detects reason behind thrombosis
Shimona Kanwar, TNN | Aug 13, 2014, 03.06AM IST

LEH: For the first time ever, Defense Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), a DRDO laboratory, has found out the cause of thrombosis (formation of blood clots in legs, brain, lungs, etc) among soldiers posted at high altitudes of Siachen. This will enable them develop biomarkers which can diagnose thrombosis early and provide timely treatment.

According to experts, the condition is a non-combative causality and one third of the soldiers are evacuated from Siachen often, following detection of thrombosis. Consequently, a team of European experts have invited scientists from DIPAS to help them explore high altitude diseases for their expedition in Bolivia. Prevalence of the condition is one in 20,000 at sea level which rise to 40 times at high altitudes of 8000m and above. It can occur among mountain trekkers and troops at high altitude.

Before the DIPAS found the underlying cause, it was thought that due to less supply of oxygen to the body, restricted mobility and extreme cold at such altitudes were responsible for thrombosis. Scientists at the DIPAS inferred that enhanced activity of Calpain, a protein molecule found in the mammals, results in blood clot. Besides conducting animal tests, they had followed troops for a year until they reached Siachen.

The findings have been published in this year's issue of "Blood", a journal of American Society of Haematology. "This novel finding could lead to development of therapeutics aimed at specifically preventing or treating thrombotic disorders induced at high altitude regions," said Dr Shashi Bala, director DIPAS.

In the study, out of the 1,000 soldiers inducted, 40 were eliminated. All these soldiers were healthy and never had any high altitude disease. After three weeks of induction, they were again screened for any disease. These troops were followed from Damana in Jammu until Siachen glacier.

Mohammad Zahid Ashraf, lead author of the study, said, "We found that out of the 960 soldiers, 14 developed thrombosis and they were airlifted to Western Command hospital, Chandigarh. One of them died due to excessive bleeding," he said, adding, "We shall include more Army units this year."

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 08:18

http://www.livemint.com/Industry/f2qnl7 ... c-ear.html

DRDO to seek approval for clinical trials for bionic ear Tests to ensure human body does not reject these implants completed

Image

The cochlear implant developed by DRDO and its components. New Delhi: Bionic ears, or artificial hearing devices that are partly implanted under the scalp, could be made in India in the near future, bringing down their prices by nearly a sixth and benefiting thousands of people suffering from significant hearing loss. India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which developed these devices, has completed two-year-long tests to ensure the human body does not reject these implants. It will seek approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) this month to carry out clinical trials, before starting commercial production.

The bionic ear, or cochlear implant, picks up sound, converts it into electrical energy and feeds it to the auditory nerve which goes to the brain, which perceives it as sound. The cochlea is the auditory part of the internal ear. Though the first cochlear implant was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1985, the prosthesis is still not affordable for most, especially in developing countries. “DRDO will produce a bionic ear which will not cost more than Rs.1-1.5 lakh, and will be the world’s cheapest cochlear implant,” said Bhujanga Rao, director general (naval systems and materials), DRDO. “With the help of philanthropists and governments, the prices can come down further,” he added. More than 3,00,000 people across the world are already using such implants, as against 5,000 in India, according to Rao. “The final results will be out after eight months to one year, after which production can begin. The observation will take time as a person needs to be given time to heal after the surgery for implantation of the device,” Rao said. He added that it has been decided that 50 people will be part of the clinical trials, five in 10 centres, overseen by ethical committees. The final details are still being worked out. “A doctor once told me, for every implant that he is doing, he is turning away 100 patients. That is the gap in demand in India,” said Rao.

More than 90% of the market for cochlear implants is cornered by three companies from Australia, Austria and the US, and the implants sold by them cost Rs.6 lakh and above, said Rao. Cochlear implant surgeries are state funded for children in European Union countries and the US because of the high cost. In India, there have been a few attempts by some state governments to make these expensive surgeries free for the poor or be financed through insurance schemes in designated government hospitals.

In 2009, the health ministry had issued a notice saying that it would reimburse as much as Rs.5,35,000 for cochlear implant surgeries of children, but only after it is approved by a standing committee of experts. Lack of awareness, even among people who can afford the expensive procedure, is also a hindrance, experts say. “The problem, however, is not restricted to affordability, but lack of awareness, lack of early diagnosis and groundwork. Even parents who can afford these implants for these children often do not know about the available options, or they are too late in getting the implant,” says Sheelu Srinivas, a surgeon with Fortis Hospital in Bangalore. “Statistically most of the children in India get cochlear implants after they turn five years old by which time most of the cerebral growth is over, but cochlear implants can only be effective if they are implanted in a child till she turns two.” The device is usually implanted before a child turns two, as the brain has a tendency to slowly disable the audio cortex from functioning in the absence of sound stimulus. Conventional hearing aids can only help those suffering from mild hearing loss. “Cochlear implants also involve a lot of signal processing, irrespective of the language. The brain has to understand all languages. We have to make a common brain language using signal processing,” said Rao, who is also a distinguished scientist. “This implant can enable a person to hear frequencies ranging from 100Hz to 8kHz, which can include telephonic conversation, normal speech to loud music,” he explained. The cochlear implant developed by DRDO will be manufactured by Pacetronix, an Indore-based firm that makes pacemakers. So far, 50 bionic ears have been made for DRDO’s biocompatibility tests. “There are some materials the body can accept; we have to use medically graded materials only. There are also some processes, such as welding and joining, through which we introduce foreign materials inside the head. These have to be accepted by the body,” said Rao, explaining these tests. “This month, we are submitting the documentation for biocompatibility tests, design, advice to doctors and reliability studies to the DCGI. We will seek approval for multi-centric clinical trials, and if we get approval, clinical trials can start in the next three to four months,” Rao said. The DRDO’s unit which developed the device has done much work in the area of signal processing. Two years ago, former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had announced that the cochlear implants would enter clinical trials that year, but was delayed due to biocompatibility tests.

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 09:46

No funding problems, we give R&D whatever it requires etc etc. Sure...

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-new ... 62518.aspx

India needs to close gaps with China: DRDO chief
Rahul Singh, Hindustan Times New Delhi, September 10, 2014
First Published: 19:55 IST(10/9/2014) | Last Updated: 19:59 IST(10/9/2014)
The country’s top military scientist has said India’s infrastructure deficit in the defence sector is coming in the way of indigenisation, at a time China is investing billions in building capacities.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief Avinash Chander said India needed to take immediate steps to close the technology gap with China and to sharpen the country’s military edge in the long run.

China has invested heavily in infrastructure and R&D. It outspends India’s R&D expenditure (more than Rs. 15,200 crore) by almost 15 times. There is a huge gap,” he told HT.

India has only one missile testing range, compared to China’s seven. It also lags behind when it comes to facilities and platforms for testing top-end hardware. It has a solitary wind tunnel facility to test aircraft and engine components.

Chander said, “We need at least three wind tunnels. We also need a fighter plane such as the MiG-29 as a flying test best. Availability of test platforms is a serious problem.” He said the evaluation of advanced light towed array sonars (ALTAS) — for detecting and tracking enemy submarines — was stuck for want of a test ship
.


He acknowledged China had moved up the value chain in high-tech defence hardware — it has tested an anti-satellite weapon, is working on a stealth fighter project and is ready to deploy an advanced submarine-launched ballistic missile.

The DRDO chief said India should look at the Chinese model of creating its own military-industrial complex to boost indigenisation. “More than 4 lakh people work in the Chinese aerospace sector, compared to less than 40,000 in India,” he said.

He said India should have a “composite policy” to link big-ticket imports to inflow of cutting-edge technology. “China pursues such a policy vigourously. If Beijing were to import 126 fighters (referring to India’s almost-done fighter deal), it would have ensured that engines were produced in China.”


One of the top priorities for the NDA government is to speed up indigenisation and transform the country from the world’s biggest arms importer into an export powerhouse.
Last edited by Karan M on 12 Sep 2014 09:52, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby srai » 12 Sep 2014 09:51

Karan M wrote:http://www.army-technology.com/news/newsdrdo-outlines-new-missile-development-programmes-4354739
...

When questioned about when India would stop missile imports, Chander said: "Our target is thereafter (2022) we should not have to import any class of missiles."

...


Small diameter PGM/ASMs is what is missing from current R&D efforts. These will be needed for internal bays of FGFA, AMCA and UCAV. On existing aircrafts, it will allow multiples to be carried on each pylons as well as being able to be carried by Naval Helicopters.

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 09:54

SRai, hence the seeker & nav sensor focus..

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 10:06

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city ... 983614.cms

DRDO grappling with manpower crunch
TNN | Jul 25, 2014, 02.46AM IST
inShare

BANGALORE: The last time premier research and development organization DRDO got a manpower boost was in 2001. A good 13 years later, it is reeling under a severe shortage.

The organization, which plays a key role in upgrading technology of the armed forces, has 7,551 scientists working across its labs and establishments. Since the sanctioned strength is 7,536, the number may appear to be more than required. But there is a huge backlog because the last enhancement happened only in 2001, sources said. "DRDO is hoping to get sanction to hire another set of people in the coming financial year. Discussions are on," another official said. He said the organization requires at least 2,776 scientists in the coming years.


A defence ministry official in Delhi said there are plans to put up a cabinet note seeking to hire another 4,966 people for DRDO. "Of these, more than 2,500 will be scientists in various grades."

Attrition higher among young

The organization is struggling to retain young talent. Of the 219 scientists who have quit in the past four years, 197 have been young grade B and C scientists. "Since 2011, we've lost 133 grade B scientists and 64 grade C scientists," the official said.

Sources blamed the trend on better opportunities in other industries. "The higher the grade, the lower the attrition rate. Only 16 grade D scientists, five of grade E and one grade F have left the organization," said a source, adding that no distinguished scientist, or even those graded G or H, have quit.

To retain young minds, the organization has requested the government to introduce Performance Related Incentive Scheme (PRIS), on the lines of Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) and the department of atomic energy (DAE). While some critics argue that the track records of the other two institutions are way better than that of DRDO ? where at least six strategically important projects, including the LCA, are pending ? DRDO scientists argue that it is long overdue.

"Unlike Isro or DAE, which are end-users themselves, DRDO manufactures everything for the armed forces. We need to keep adapting to their changing needs," an official said.

Karan M
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Re: India's R&D in Defence DRDO, PSUs and Private Sector

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 10:16

How Indian Army's initiative helps Ladakh's farmers
Sunday, 7 September 2014 - 6:20am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Mayank Aggarwal
Image
http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/repor ... rs-2016720

An army-led initiative is bringing prosperity to Ladakh's small farmers while ensuring a steady supply of fresh food for troops stationed at the Siachen glacier, finds Mayank Aggarwal

Last year, DIHAR’s techniques helped Ladakh’s farmers grow 101 types of vegetables in a single crop season

Two years ago, life "completely changed" for 38-year-old Palmo. The resident of Partapur, a remote village in Ladakh, located 11,000 feet above sea level and about 150km from the Siachin glacier base camp, used to barely eke out a living from her fields. She struggled to send her children to school. Now she earns about Rs2,000-Rs2,300 per day.

All thanks to the Defence Research and Development Organisation's ( DRDO) Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), which has helped Palmo and nearly 20,000 small farmers such as herself in Leh, Kargil, Partapur and Turtuk in Ladakh adopt advanced farming techniques like trench cultivation and polycarbonate greenhouses to improve crop yield. As a result, these farmers can now continue farming during the six-month-long winters when temperatures dip to -30 degreee Celsius and the land is burried under knee-high pile of snow. DIHAR's techniques even allows these farmers to carry on poultry, making it possible to hatch eggs during the winter season.[/b]

Established in 1962, DIHAR was a brainchild of Jawaharlal Nehru. Its objective is to carry out research "on agro-animal activities in cold and high altitude region of Ladakh with a view to enhance the availability of fresh Foods i.e. vegetables, fruits, milk, meat, eggs and medicinal and aromatic plants for our troops through local farmers". DIHAR conducts research to enhance productivity in vegetable cultivation, in processing and preservation of vegetables and perishable food items, in the use of biodegradable waste for energy production; and conservation and upgradation of the local animal population.

"I started taking DIHAR's help a little more than a year and a half ago. Now, my life has completely changed," says Palmo. "Earlier I only grew potatoes and a couple of other vegetables. I now grow capsicum, tomatoes, cauliflowers, onions and other vegetables."

Palmo also sells the eggs and chicken from her poultry farm at the farmers' co-operative societies, which in turn have supply contracts with the Army. "As a result, my earnings have gone up from Rs 700 to Rs 2,300 per day. I also get subsidised animal feed from DIHAR."

Palmo's neighbour in the same village, 35-year-old Sonam Dorjee took DIHAR's assistance to cross-bred her cows with their superior cattle. " My cows are now more resilient to diseases and weather, and give 35-40 litres of milk daily," says Dorjee. "My income has doubled and I can afford to send my children to school. I am now looking for help to increase my livestock."

[B]The programme has not just helped local farmers but has also proved to be a boon for troops posted at the frontier, especially at the Siachen glacier, the world's highest battleground. More than 50 per cent of the required fresh vegetable, fruit, milk, meat and poultry, running into thousands of tonnes, is procured from farmers in Ladakh. Earlier, the ration had to be airlifted from Chandigarh and dropped by helicopter at Siachen
.


"We are doing our best to fulfill the food and energy needs of our troops in Ladakh. Last year, we entered the record books for growing 101 types of vegetables in Leh in a single season," says DIHAR director RB Srivastava. "Ever since local farmers have adopted DIHAR's technologies, the Army's vegetable supply in Ladakh has gone up from less than 10 varieties to at least 28 now."

Colonel SS Bisht of the Siachen Brigade says it is important for soldiers at the glacier to intake fresh food given the harsh conditions at the glacier. "So DIHAR is helping bring fresh food to soldiers, who earlier got only tinned food," says Colonel Bisht.


Trench cultivation: In trench cultivation, a small underground, three-foot deep greenhouse is covered with transparent UV stabilised white polythene sheets during the day to harvest maximum solar energy. At night, the trench is covered with another layer of black polythene to minimise heat loss. The average temperature in the trench is much higher than it is outside. It is a low-cost solution to greenhouse farming.

Polycarbonate greenhouse: These are over ground greenhouses formed using polycarbonate sheets — single, double or triple layered. Polycarbonate sheets are effective because they are successful in trapping heat even in extreme conditions and are durable. Inside the greenhouse, appropriate conditions for cultivation are maintained with tools such as moisture controller, temperature controller, etc.

http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/repor ... rs-2016720
Last edited by Karan M on 12 Sep 2014 10:18, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby JayS » 12 Sep 2014 10:17

was this posted here before??

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/drdo-to-open-centres-in-academic-institutes-114072501070_1.html

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to set up advanced technology centres in prominent academic institutes including IITs, parliament was told Friday.

There will be one centre in IIT-Bombay for research in advanced propulsion technologies and next generation aero engine technologies, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley told the Lok Sabha.

Another centre at Jadavpur University in Kolkata will work on "Unmanned Autonomous Soldier-Assist Technologies", he said.

DRDO was organising technical workshops with research faculty and scientists and negotiating with institutes for establishing these Advanced Technology Centres, he said.

"Research focus areas, existing capabilities and need for additional research facilities are assessed for establishing these centres," Jaitley added.

The DRDO established the Research and Innovation Centre at IIT-Chennai in 2012.


I had read it cursorily. Didn't think too much of it. But just got to know from an insider that the DRDO is going really big on IITB centre and planning it to be our very own JPL. It made my day. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Good to see things shaping up. Its high time we synergise and focus academic, DRDO and private efforts for quality RnD. Alone none of them can be successful.

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

Postby Karan M » 12 Sep 2014 10:23

With Modi govt's focus on buy local - i think the next decade will have substantial changes.

http://week.manoramaonline.com/cgi-bin/ ... d=17527277

Foreign guns, made in India
By R. Prasannan
Story Dated: Friday, September 5, 2014 17:48 hrs IST
Modi government shows intent with a range of defence-related measures

Arun Jaitley has finally cut the Gordian knot of defence. The scientists in the defence labs always wanted to develop arms in India; the generals wanted to buy superior stuff from abroad; and ministers couldn't decide. Now Jaitley has met both demands half-way, and fully pleased a third party—the managers in India's defence factories.

The armed forces had asked for 384 light utility helicopters in 2010, to replace the highly agile but ageing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters, which are used for patrolling, recce, light casualty evacuation and such missions in icy Siachen, dense jungles and blazing deserts. The defence ministry had split the order in two, saying 197 may be bought off the shelf from abroad and 187 be built in India. French Eurocopter and Russian Kamov Ka-226 were tried and found to be good, but following the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter scandal, the UPA government froze all hele purchases.

Last month, the Narendra Modi cabinet decided to allow foreign companies to invest up to 49 per cent in defence industries. The decision was notified on August 26. The next day the Jaitley-headed Defence Acquisition Council scrapped the tenders floated for buying 197 helicopters from abroad and said Indian companies will make them. If necessary, they can go for foreign collaboration. The Army can take 137 of them and the Air Force 60.

The happiest party in this move is the public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the only Indian company that has the knowhow to make helicopters. Foreign players can come in through the FDI route, set up joint ventures and give competition to HAL, but HAL will have a head start. It has been manufacturing the Cheetahs and Chetaks under licence for decades; has developed, built and sold Dhruv light helicopters within and outside India; and has been working on a lighter (three-tonne) utility helicopter on its own to be ready by 2016-17. The third, a fully in-house development programme, had slowed down because HAL could not find an engine that suited the machine. This should now get a boost.


The council's decision is in line with the new government's philosophy that India has to manufacture more, using Indian or imported technology. This, the government hopes, should end the tug-of-war between the scientists and the services. The scientists had earlier opposed allowing FDI in defence arguing that it would kill local research and development, and that in the defence market no country sells its best to another.

Which means, the scientists argued, foreigners would invest in the Indian arms industry, but would make only things inferior to what they make in their home countries. Former defence R&D chief V.K. Saraswat had openly spoken out against increased FDI in defence manufacturing. At the other end were the armed forces, which only wanted equipment that was the best available in the world market, indigenous or imported.


The new FDI policy insists that the company seeking 49 per cent FDI should be owned and controlled by resident Indians. The government can verify the antecedents of the foreign collaborators and domestic promoters. Preference will be given to original manufacturers or design companies as collaborators.

The dampeners, as some observers put it, are that there is no purchase guarantee being offered, and a policy that the government will continue to give preference to products from PSUs. “This is unlikely to yield appropriate dividends,” observes Dhruv Katoch, director of Centre for Land Warfare Studies. “A level playing field is required to remove the sloth in the defence public sector.” He concedes that the new policy “represents some forward movement, but how far the above policy will succeed in drawing in FDI remains to be seen”.

Bringing smiles to the scientists' faces is the decision on the much-reviled Arjun, the first battletank developed in India. Despite the tank's unique Kanchan armour and superior fire-control systems, the Army had nearly rejected Arjun (ordered just 124 of the Mark I variety) citing design flaws, and gone for import and licensed manufacture of Russian T-90 tanks. The Defence Research and Development Organisation has since developed a superior Mark II version and the council has now asked the Army to equip two regiments with 118 of Arjun Mark II for Rs6,600 crore from Heavy Vehicles Factory, Avadi.

When Arjun Mark I had run into problems, the DRDO's Combat Vehicles R&D Establishment had tried to make use of the tank technology to develop a unique gun system—a 130mm gun mounted on an Arjun chassis. In classic tank battles, tank columns race ahead while the slow-moving artillery guns fire from behind, over their heads, to soften enemy targets. Guns mounted on tank chassis, like the proposed one, will be able to race ahead along with tanks and thus provide them closer fire support.

The council, in which the minister of state for defence production, the three service chiefs, the defence secretary, the defence production secretary, the defence R&D secretary, the chief of integrated staff, the director-general acquisition and the deputy chief of integrated staff are members, has asked the Army to procure 40 of these guns for Rs820 crore.

Apparently, the message has spread across the services. Within days of the council meeting, Air Marshal S.B.P. Sinha, deputy chief of air staff, got into the trainer version of a Tejas light combat aircraft and flew a sortie in Bengaluru for a “first-hand experience and feel of the aircraft”. This was the first time an air marshal had flown the aircraft, the prototypes of which have been flying for 14 years and which got initial operational clearance over three years ago.


Said P.S. Subramanyam, programme director (combat aircraft) and director of Aeronautical Development Agency which developed the aircraft: “This flight of Tejas by a senior IAF commander indicates the high degree of confidence in the indigenous light combat aircraft.”

The government's “thrust is on creating jobs within India,” said one of Jaitley's finance ministry aides—even in repair and refit contracts. The Navy had been asking for repairing, overhauling and refitting six submarines—four Russian Kilos and two German HDWs—which would have cost them Rs4,800 crore over two years. The council has ordered the two HDWs and two Kilos to be refitted in India and two Kilos to be sent to Russia.

Sonars are to a ship what radars are to an airplane—they detect enemy ships and submarines. Captains of 11 Indian-built warships, including the newly-commissioned INS Kolkata and Kamorta, have been all at sea, literally, without sonars on their ships. The council has asked the ministry to procure integrated anti-submarine warfare suites for Rs1,770 crore.

There is enough to make arms-sellers happy, too. The Navy had been asking for 16 helicopters for anti-submarine warfare, but the ministry froze the deal because there were only two vendors and one of them was part-owned by Finmeccanica, which had been blacklisted over the VVIP helicopter deal. “We have been conservative in the process of acquisition of weapons,” said Jaitley. “You cannot be very defensive in the defence ministry.... At every stage you have gone ahead and blacklisted people as a result of which your options of acquisition have narrowed down.” Now Sikorsky of the US expects to get the order for 16 anti-sub heles, as it is the only contender left.

There had already been a plan to buy 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift heles from Boeing for Rs15,000 crore, but the deals were stuck because of disputes over offsets. The defence procurement policy stipulates that foreign arms sellers should pool back 30 per cent of the value of the order to India through subcontracts, purchase of ancillaries, etc. The council now has cleared the offset offer made by Boeing, the makers of Apache and Chinook.


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