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

shyamd
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Postby shyamd » 02 Jun 2007 05:57

‘Air breathing’ system claims to reduce risk of hearing loss
[quote]Vijay Sabre Safety Ltd, a manufacturer of fire safety and emergency rescue equipment, is set to launch an ‘air-breathing’ machine that claims to reduce the risk of hearing loss for people working in noisy environments.
The prescribed use of the machine, branded Carbogen, and carrying a mixture of 95% of oxygen and the rest carbon dioxide, is for 10 minutes before workers enter noisy workplaces such as steel mills, power plants and engine rooms of ships.
The promised result: reduced stress and avoidance of temporary deafness, caused by exposure to noise levels of 85 decibels, typical for a factory floor. Long-term exposure to such noise can eventually lead to deafness.
The company has sourced the technology for this first-of-its-kind machine, expected to hit the market by August, from the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (Dipas), one of Defence Research and Development Organization’s (DRDO) nine biomedical labs.
Dipas had developed the technology together with the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, to help soldiers using guns, mortar and missile systems or sailors who spend long hours underwater in submarines. Vijay Sabre and Delhi-based SB Equipments have licensed the technology for the Carbogen system from Dipas. This is the latest of nearly 60 products developed for the armed forces by its nine life science laboratories spread across India and transferred to the private sector for commercial civilian use.

[b]“The technology is already proven (with soldiers). Our focus is just on building on the design and find customers,â€

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Postby Laks » 02 Jun 2007 15:14

http://www.domain-b.com/aero/20070531_g ... ftware.htm
Chennai: International defence major, the Thales group opened a $1.3 million software centre here, which will be used for global system development and as a export hub.

"'Thales Software India (TSI) has invested 1 million euros in developing the Chennai facility and hopes to triple this investment in the coming years and employ a thousand software engineers here by 2010," said Jean Paul Lepeytre, senior vice president for the Thales security services and services divisions.

Thales officials said that TSI already generates revenue of over $400 million from its operations and hopes to increase this in the coming years with export of software systems in 50 and more countries.

The security and services division will form the base for the development centre of the entire group in Chennai, officials said.

'Our Chennai centre will provide the domain specific expertise for all our world operations and anything TSI does here will be exported and available in our products elsewhere,' Francois Dupont, country director Thales, told reporters.

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Postby Kartman » 04 Jun 2007 16:52

From shyamd's link:
shyamd wrote:‘Air breathing’ system claims to reduce risk of hearing lossSome of the products used in everyday consumer lives, which have been sourced from defence technology, include readymade chapatis sold by companies such as Godrej Pillsbury and ITC Agro Tech Ltd, and instant rice and pulav mixes sold by ITC Ltd and Hindustan Lever Ltd.
Mysore-based Defence Food Research Laboratories developed these products for soldiers in high-altitude regions such as the Siachen Glacier, including processed ready-to-eat foods from fish curry to rasam rice packed in sterilized polymeric packs, and consumed after dipping the pouch in warm water to make the food hot.

For those who lament why "Tatas don't make LCA, Kirloskar should have made Arjun's engine, etc, etc..." ... note how defence labs have to develop thes basic things for lack of an industrial R&D base. In developed countries with a mature consumer market, and consequently more depth of civilian, industrial R&D, the process would be exactly the opposite... say, the USMC sourcing apple pie from Sara Lee :evil:

Inshallah, in 10-20 yrs we shall be there too...

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Postby narmad » 05 Jun 2007 00:11

At last, Army gets private muscle
13 Indian firms get historic defence production privilege
Raksha Udyog Ratnas (RUR). For all practical purposes, the RURs would enjoy the same status as the Defence Public Sector Units.

At least 13 major Indian private companies are set to get historic special privileges to manufacture complex military systems as the country prepares to engage its booming private industry in the defence sector. The plan will end the monopoly of state-run ordnance factories.

Sources said that June 6 has been tentatively settled as the date for the Sengupta Committee to submit its report on RURs to Defence Minister AK Antony. The RUR concept, and a proposal to create a Defence Technology Development Fund, will transform India's defence procurement processes, a senior ministry official said. The fund, speculated to hold an initial corpus of Rs100 crore, envisages the government providing an advance of up to 80 per cent of funding to private companies for development of critical weapon systems. The fund's creation is to be announced some time later this year.

As for the RURs, they would become system integrators of complex military equipment, and would systematically help in increasing defence purchases from within India. According to sources apprised of the constitution of the RURs, the chosen few include Larsen & Toubro, Mahindra and Mahindra, and Tata Motors.

The companies meet the criteria laid out by the government. All the companies have had an annual turnover of over Rs1,000 crore for the past three years, already hold licences for defence manufacturing, and have been listed in Indian stock markets for a decade. Further, none of the companies has more than 26 per cent foreign direct investment. Forty-one Indian companies had applied for the RUR status.

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Postby JCage » 05 Jun 2007 02:31

They should have cut the Rs 1000 crores requirement by half. Oh well..

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Postby SureshP » 07 Jun 2007 01:38

[quote]Selecting India`s Lockheed Martins now a step away

Ajai Shukla / New Delhi June 07, 2007

In a low-key meeting in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) today, the Prabir Sengupta Committee presented its recommendations before Defence Minister AK Antony on which private companies would be granted the title of Raksha Utpadan Ratnas (RURs), that is, Champions of Industry.

Set up in May 2006, the committee examined the applications of 41 Indian companies for the RUR status. Around 15 of them, including Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata and L&T, were called between December 2006 and February 2007 to make presentations before the committee.

[b]Though the MoD has kept a lid on how many have been recommended for the status; sources say the figure is 5-7. The report will now be considered by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).

The status will continue for five years, after which the selection committee and the DAC will have the discretion to give three-year extensions. Defence Minister AK Antony says the DAC approval will be accorded at the earliest. “It will be done by the end of this year,â€

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Postby skher » 07 Jun 2007 14:12

Questions

1>Will the DRDO act as the directorate/nodal regulatory agency for these new RURs?

2>How profitable is the regime of licensing pioneering technology for the DRDO? Can it generate its own research funds through such enterprise?
2.5>How feasible is the DRDO,ADA,HAL,BDL etc as a KPO?

3>What are disadvantages(issues of nat'l security etc. etc.) of spinning off three marketing & holding subsidary enterprises [on the lines of ISRO's Antrix Corp] of the DRDO, one each for the army,navy and air force?

4>Is a centralised engineering university for Defence in the making?

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Postby Kartman » 07 Jun 2007 14:13

From the above report:

The RURs will be able to undertake defence R&D, funded by the MoD. The ministry has already announced that it will fund 80 per cent of the R&D cost by RURs into specified defence systems.


Good move, IMHO... provided, of course, they are able to properly audit that the R&D is actually R&D... and not of the Khan Res. Lab variety :P

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Postby SriSri » 07 Jun 2007 19:50

Sengupta Committee Report: Promotes Significant Private Sector Contribution In Defense Sector

A high level selection committee to identify "Raksha Udyog Ratnas" submitted its report to the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in New Delhi on 6th June 2007.

The Committee, headed by Shri Prabir Sengupta former Secretary Defence Production and former Director, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, examined the possibility of engaging particular industries in the country in Defence Production.

The Committee was asked to identify various industries which could be involved in the production of large weapon systems and other requirements of the Defence Forces.

Related: Private Sector Ventures In Defense; DRDO To Face Tough Competition

The report is likely to recommend top private firms such as Tata Motors, Godrej & Boyce, Mahindra & Mahindra, L&T, Ashok Leyland and Bharat Forge to be given the RUR (Raksha Udyog Ratnas) Status which would enable them to avail all the benefits state run Defence PSU's and organizations currently avail.

The final list of selected companies will be released this week and is likely to comprise 5-6 private players that will enjoy the status for a period of five years initially. "The RUR status allows us to make complex weapons and high-end defence equipment, and transfer of technology from foreign players will not be limited only to the PSUs," says Brig (Retd) Khutub A Hai, CEO, Mahindra Defence System.

The criteria for the selection of RURs is stringent. The company must have been listed for minimum 10 years, foreign holding (excluding FII stake) should not exceed 26%, it must have recorded a turnover of at least Rs 1,000 crore in each of the past three years and it should have a credible track record in engineering, manufacturing and quality assurance, among others.

The other members of the committee were Shri N R Mohanty, former Chairman, HAL, Shri S H Khan, ex-Chairman-cum-Managing Director, IDBI and Shri Bakul Dholakia, Director IIM Ahmedabad. Experts from the three armed forces, Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), Defence Research and Development Organisation, Finance officials from Defence Ministry and Engineers India Limited assisted the committee. M/s Engineers India Limited provided technical assistance to the Committee.

The committee was set up on May 09 last year in pursuance of the Government's policy to identify Tier-I industries in the country and to systematically encourage their involvement in Defence Production so as to assume the role of system integrators of large weapon systems and producers of platforms required by the Defence Forces.

The companies recommended by the committee will be notified only after the proposals are approved by the Defence Acquisition Council.

http://www.india-defence.com/reports-3278

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Postby VinodTK » 08 Jun 2007 05:30


SriSri
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Postby SriSri » 08 Jun 2007 08:05

With the onset of RUR status for top private entities; one has to quickly reassess the scope of the role of the private sector in the Indian defence market and the International defence market.

If the Government does indeed comply with the Sengupta Recommendations and grants the RUR Company's all the rights the likes of Govt owned org's enjoy it could very well be the beginning of the end of the DRDO in its present form.

It could work out for the best and structural reforms for the Govt owned defence org's could be hastened; but if the babus sit on their bums then DRDO will be extinct the way I see it.

Of course I could be wrong -- Sarkari institutions may use political influence to win contracts; but what's going to stop the private org's from doing the same?

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Postby SriKumar » 08 Jun 2007 08:38

SriSri wrote: If the Government does indeed comply with the Sengupta Recommendations and grants the RUR Company's all the rights the likes of Govt owned org's enjoy it could very well be the beginning of the end of the DRDO in its present form.

It could work out for the best and structural reforms for the Govt owned defence org's could be hastened; but if the babus sit on their bums then DRDO will.....
I was thinking the same thing. If indeed, the letter and spirit of this law is met, then production of defence equipment in India and even Defence R&D will change drastically, IMO. Add to that, the 30% offset clause for foreign contracts, it seems like the pvt. sector in India is in for a bonanza. This move (R.U.Ratna) also seems to be a move forward on the issue of defence-related engineers' payscales being more responsive to market forces.

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Postby SriSri » 08 Jun 2007 09:14

I was thinking the same thing.

All Sri's think alike! :P

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Postby JCage » 08 Jun 2007 11:27

SriSri wrote:With the onset of RUR status for top private entities; one has to quickly reassess the scope of the role of the private sector in the Indian defence market and the International defence market.

If the Government does indeed comply with the Sengupta Recommendations and grants the RUR Company's all the rights the likes of Govt owned org's enjoy it could very well be the beginning of the end of the DRDO in its present form.

It could work out for the best and structural reforms for the Govt owned defence org's could be hastened; but if the babus sit on their bums then DRDO will be extinct the way I see it.

Of course I could be wrong -- Sarkari institutions may use political influence to win contracts; but what's going to stop the private org's from doing the same?


This is incorrect, not to say misleading.

Strategic systems will always remain with the DRDO- those are critical functions.

Apart from that is the range of expertise in large scale projects that the private sector is nowhere near, and they acknowledge it.

None of the RURs have demonstrated anywhere near the gamut of overall design capabilities DRDO, BEL and ECIL have developed.

Its the difference between developing the software for one of the jammers in the Samyukta, to developing the Samyukta itself- with 140 vehicles, ranging from C3I to jammers to ESM.

All the Navys critical sonar and EW applications are sourced from the DRDO. They have the experience and information about developing follow on variants as well.

There is not a single RUR with a program anywhere near the scale of a LCA.

This is not to say that these capabilities cant be built up- but it will take time and effort, easily spanning decades.

Dont expect the RURs to work miracles or that India's entire MIC will change.

In sum, over the next two decades what we will see is something similar to the Russian model- but with both private and public firms.

Namely, multiple design houses & production agencies.

What you chaps fail to understand is the scale of India's procurement.

India purchases items in every class, of every kind given its security needs.

Its entirely possible for one RUR to develop a tactical 3D radar, another to develop a high power one, another to develop an aerostat.

And they will all have some common subsystem providers, common pools of design expertise.

Finally, the GOI has a very valid reason to keep PSUs/ DRDO in the game- they act as sources of knowledge which cannot be acquired or lost. India will not leak Brahmos missile technology because DRDO got acquired by a venture capital firm.

This is also the reason why the GOI has specified a 1000 Crore benchmark for becoming a RUR. They want a firm that has staying power.
The con is that it loses out on smaller firms which are actually more into R&D.

The DRDO/ PSUs also develop items that others wont, since there is no money in it.

In contrast, a RUR- at the end of the day, is a commercial enterprise- it looks after profit. The DRDO looks at indigenization, and technology gain- not necessarily economics.

Look at Russia itself- after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Govt privatized willy nilly- losing thousands in terms of trained manpower and gutting its public units.

Today, the Russian arms industry has been restructured and reorganized- several firms- such as Irkut, have gone corporate and sought external funding, but the Russian Govt remains a massive stakeholder.

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Postby vina » 08 Jun 2007 12:23

JCage wrote:In sum, over the next two decades what we will see is something similar to the Russian model- but with both private and public firms.

Namely, multiple design houses & production agencies.


The Russian model of Design house vs Production House split is a fundamental mistake and is one of the reasons we have the problems that we have.

Unless it is a "fabless" model like in semiconductors and electronics manufacturing "Design" alone cannot stand on its own. And if you want 1000 crores RUR/DUR/BUR/GUR whatever, chances are that it will be a largely "production" house to have such numbers.

What this policy does is to bring in private sector agencies in "production" to cover for he weakness of the OFB/PSUs in manufacturing.. This myopic focus is a terrible mistake.

With this design / vs manufacture split..stuff like design for manufacture, concurrent engineering stuff like TQM etc goes out of the window.. What about feedbacks from manufacturing and product in the field feeding back into design.. Design is not a one off thing that you do and throw it across the wall to the other guy to take care of and manufacture..

Note , even in a "fabless model" , the "designers" own the product, market it and make the bulk of money out of it. In Indian model, it is ass backwards.. No one makes any money and the likes of OFB and other "prodcution" agencies start wielding power because they see cash flow, have a large work force and interface with the customer!! ..

When you buy an apple iPod, who sells it to you ?Apple or Flextronics? Who owns the IP on it and who takes feedback from the market for future product innovations and finally, who makes the bulk of the money ? .

So what are you going to encourage with this RUR/BUR ? More Flextronics or Apple ? Innovative Fabless Shops or no knowledged and IP but asset heavy (made with public money mind you) OFB and other manufacturing types who cannot design a screw to save their lives ?

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Postby JCage » 08 Jun 2007 12:37

vina wrote:
JCage wrote:In sum, over the next two decades what we will see is something similar to the Russian model- but with both private and public firms.

Namely, multiple design houses & production agencies.


The Russian model of Design house vs Production House split is a fundamental mistake and is one of the reasons we have the problems that we have.

Unless it is a "fabless" model like in semiconductors and electronics manufacturing "Design" alone cannot stand on its own. And if you want 1000 crores RUR/DUR/BUR/GUR whatever, chances are that it will be a largely "production" house to have such numbers.

What this policy does is to bring in private sector agencies in "production" to cover for he weakness of the OFB/PSUs in manufacturing.. This myopic focus is a terrible mistake.

With this design / vs manufacture split..stuff like design for manufacture, concurrent engineering stuff like TQM etc goes out of the window.. What about feedbacks from manufacturing and product in the field feeding back into design.. Design is not a one off thing that you do and throw it across the wall to the other guy to take care of and manufacture..

Note , even in a "fabless model" , the "designers" own the product, market it and make the bulk of money out of it. In Indian model, it is ass backwards.. No one makes any money and the likes of OFB and other "prodcution" agencies start wielding power because they see cash flow, have a large work force and interface with the customer!! ..

When you buy an apple iPod, who sells it to you ?Apple or Flextronics? Who owns the IP on it and who takes feedback from the market for future product innovations and finally, who makes the bulk of the money ? .

So what are you going to encourage with this RUR/BUR ? More Flextronics or Apple ? Innovative Fabless Shops or no knowledged and IP but asset heavy (made with public money mind you) OFB and other manufacturing types who cannot design a screw to save their lives ?


Its actually like this... The actual R&D vs production house mistake is more in India rather than Russia, namely in DRDO vs OFB and GTRE vs HAL. This had a lot to do with our bureaucrats fascination for clearly delineated functions- R&D is done by R&D, manufacturing is done by PSU etc etc.

Now HAL has set up the ARDC and is ramping up its own R&D, its not at BEL level yet, but it will get there. Similarly, ECIL which is actually under DAE does design and manufacturing both.

OFB states that it is also going to spend on R&D and will massmanufacture items in JVs for export...in their case, skepticism is warranted..

Lets come to Russia:

Actually Russia had both- colocated design teams with manufacturing, and separate manufacturing units.

What they used to do was to "team" a design team with a manufacturing house- and over time, the manufacturer would become dedicated to that design unit. The manufacturing unit would have its own R&D as well, to work with the design team.

This was done because of the issue of economy of scale- the Soviets wanted to centralize design functions and then build multiple production units for redundancy and ramping up.

Post reforms, what Russia has done is combine these units into consortiums. So the Almaz Antei consortium includes NIIP, the eponymous Almaz SAM manufacturing works, assorted companies who do manufacturing for the NIIP team including Ryazan and so on and so forth. These are closely associated and the system has worked fairly well. The Bars radar was jointly done by NIIP with the manufacturing team at Ryazan. Without the manufacturing advances in phase shifters @ Ryazan or so NIIP notes, they couldnt have completed the Bars.

So lets look at the RURs- what is happening here is that the RURs will be like BEL not OFB. They will be encouraged to research and manufacture. Only two RURs have significant prior experience in this respect, in terms of defence- TATA & L&T. M&M has signed up for a lot of stuff and gives a lot of press bites with Brig Hai, but it has not undertaken any significant R&D as of yet. OTOH, perhaps they'll focus their R&D on vehicles and contract manufacture small arms and subassemblies.

The GOI/DRDO etcs plan is exactly as you state- they want the same guy to do both- design & manufacturing - as much as possible anyways.

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Postby skher » 08 Jun 2007 17:21

So, if future defense systems are going to by designed AND produced by these RURs increasingly...then will DRDO become like a Knowlegde Process Outsourcing firm?In that scenario, would defence research will be outsourced to it by these RURs for a price; the licensed technology then applied and integrated by the Udyog Ratnas?

Is the DRDO to become more like DARPA; funding and overseeing DR&D and organizing design competitions [like Grand Challenge] ?

In other words,where would exactly the DRDO fit in the RUR picture?

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Postby JCage » 08 Jun 2007 20:39

DRDO could become like DARPA a couple of decades from now..but for this coming decade and the next, they are still the lead designers with concentrated expertise in many functional areas...

EW (DARE, DEAL, DLRL)
RADARS (LRDE)
SONARS (NPOL)
NAVAL WEAPONS (NSTL)
FIGHTER AIRCRAFT & UAVS (ADA, ADE)
LAND SYSTEMS (CVRDE, VRDE, RDE)
MATERIALS (NMRL, DMRL)
HIGH EXPLOSIVES AND ARMAMENTS (ARDE, HEMRL)

...

L&T & TATA have the best chance to pick up a lot of the above systems, apart from materials research. But even they cant scale up to infinity...our needs are massive..

And for the next decade & more, its DRDO which has already got a plan for various product families and other families already in production..

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Postby A Sharma » 09 Jun 2007 04:16

DRDO Newsletter

Defence Materials and Stores Research & Development Establishment (DMSRDE) Kanpur, has designed and developed Lightweight Ceramic Faced Composite Armour Panels for Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) based on the requirement of RWR&DC Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (Helicopter Division), Bangalore This provides protection to aircrews and critical parts of helicopter against hits of bullets of 12.7mmAPI .

Prototype armour panels have been manufactured in association with M/s Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Ltd, Bangalore.

The armour panels installation on the Army version ALH has been completed with the approval of Army Project Team (APT) and RCMA (H), Bangalore. Carriage and flight trials were also conducted and found satisfactory. Flight test results and armour panels are acceptable to the Army; and RCMA (H), Bangalore, has issued provisional clearance for composite armour panels for ALH.


NSTL handed over the Helicopter Fire Control Systems and its accessories (HFCS) developed by the laboratory against a Resource Generation Project .

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Postby Rien » 09 Jun 2007 05:43

JCage wrote:Finally, the GOI has a very valid reason to keep PSUs/ DRDO in the game- they act as sources of knowledge which cannot be acquired or lost. India will not leak Brahmos missile technology because DRDO got acquired by a venture capital firm.


The PSU's suffer a high turnover. Very few people working on the LCA today was the same team that started so long ago. The private companies will do far better than the DRDO ever could. After all, they *already* are where the people from DRDO went. If you wanted to find the people who started work at the DRDO, the private sector is where you will find them.

JCage wrote:The DRDO/ PSUs also develop items that others wont, since there is no money in it.


Is it really the case that there is no money in developing items for defence products? I would say it's more the way the DRDO develops it, there can be no profit.

There are several cases in point. The Sathi, which was a combined GPS/PDA. At the time it was developed, there were no units at that price point. It could have been a commercial success like the Tom Toms are today if not for the fact it was developed by the DRDO.

JCage wrote:In contrast, a RUR- at the end of the day, is a commercial enterprise- it looks after profit. The DRDO looks at indigenization, and technology gain- not necessarily economics.


Lockheed Martin and Boeing seemed to have managed to bridge this gap. Every single country from which India imports weapons has solved this problem.

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Postby SriSri » 09 Jun 2007 06:51

JCage,

I had the very same debate very recently so I won't go through it in detail. I outlined your post and it questioned the capacity of any of the RUR probables to match the likes of HAL.

While it is true that they can't at the moment, I fail to see why you deduced that they won't ever in the future.

Case in point:
None of the RURs have demonstrated anywhere near the gamut of overall design capabilities DRDO, BEL and ECIL have developed.


So what? Does it mean the highly rumoured Boeing-TATA F-18 production line can't materialize at all? (assuming say F-18 wins the MRCA)

There is not a single RUR with a program anywhere near the scale of a LCA.


Again: While it is true that they can't at the moment, I fail to see why you deduced that they won't ever in the future.

--

Also JCage, the industry evolves. The capability the Govt Org's have today will go extinct say in 50 years, so whatever they have now is not a free ticket forever.

Now I am not saying they go extinct tomorrow when the Govt. accepts Sengupta's recommendations. They might not go extinct at all. But they will have to ensure is they can match up to the competitive drive of the Private Sector.

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

--

This is incorrect, not to say misleading.

It surely can't be "misleading" to mull the possibility of private sector participating in the defense industry?

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Postby Rahul M » 09 Jun 2007 07:07

The PSU's suffer a high turnover.


:P
really ??

The private companies will do far better than the DRDO ever could. After all, they *already* are where the people from DRDO went. If you wanted to find the people who started work at the DRDO, the private sector is where you will find them.


right kind of people constitute only one requirement for a succesful organisation. risk taking ability and attitude towards research constitue some of the other essential requirements.

name a indian pvt company in the manufacturing sector that spends more than 10% on research ??

Is it really the case that there is no money in developing items for defence products? I would say it's more the way the DRDO develops it, there can be no profit.


DRDO, by definition is not a profit making organisation. no wonders it didn't make any.

Lockheed Martin and Boeing seemed to have managed to bridge this gap. Every single country from which India imports weapons has solved this problem.


that was because govt./forces in the US are/were ready to fund a substancial part of the research, even sometimes from more than one vendor.
also, they don't face any outside competition.
US forces, by law can't buy anything from outside. so wahtever be the performances of US companies, an US manufacturer would get the orders. the others would die out/buyed out.

I'm very much for pvt participation in defence. manufacturing and even R & D.
production should be the main thrust of these at the moment.
ideally GOI should sell off some of the OFB factories to these.

however, these RUR's won't transform overnight into LM and the like.
they have a looooong way to go.
most of these have almost no research experience of 'any' kind. even if they get hold of people working in the right areas, that won't get them anywhere near research data that R & D organisations generate and store over # of years and thousands of man hours.

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Postby Rahul M » 09 Jun 2007 07:33

SriSri, I doubt if JC wanted to say that pvt RUR's will never atain the likes of HAL.

they may (probably will) or they may not. but that is really much further away in the future.

currently they have next to nothing experience in this matters, thanks to GoI regulation.
at the moment it is childish to even think of these matching something like HAL.

it's like surmising that a one yr old boy will outplay rahul dravid simply because his family had a couple of ranji players.
its almost in realm of fantasy, albeit one which most of us share.
:wink:
So what? Does it mean the highly rumoured Boeing-TATA F-18 production line can't materialize at all? (assuming say F-18 wins the MRCA)


JC was talking of design capabilities :
None of the RURs have demonstrated anywhere near the gamut of overall design capabilities DRDO, BEL and ECIL have developed.


what design capability do you require to manufacture a fighter with technology provided from outside ? for all we know, it could have been just assembling kits coming over from US.
Precisely what JC has meant (if I got him correctly) is that at the moment the pvt players can't go beyond manufacturing with tech provided by others.
IF they invest substantialy in R&D now, with help from GoI and DRDO, in the future, say 10-15 years from now they will be hopefully able to design and develop state of the art equipments.

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Postby SriSri » 09 Jun 2007 08:25

it's like surmising that a one yr old boy will outplay rahul dravid simply because his family had a couple of ranji players.

That's very clever but not so accurate imho! Let's change the one year old with a 14 year old athletic male. :P

When anybody or any group is motivated and has the drive, back it with the soundest wisdom and management skill, technology and expertize money can buy; and if the business model is stable, there is no reason why you won't succeed.

Of course time will tell, but I'd rather buy shares of TATA Motors than of HAL! 8)

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Postby SriKumar » 09 Jun 2007 08:56

right kind of people constitute only one requirement for a succesful organisation. risk taking ability and attitude towards research constitue some of the other essential requirements.
Sure, but R&D units in companies provide that kind of environment. And populating them with engineers with a research-bent of mind can be done. IISc and IITs still graduate M.Techs and Ph.ds. And DRDO intake includes Bachelor's degrees too. Companies can hire them too (and also hire from DRDO, HAL etc.).
name a indian pvt company in the manufacturing sector that spends more than 10% on research ??
Sure they dont spend much of their own money on research, but neither does DRDO. It is GOI taxpayer money. At the end of the day, I think it is ultimately a question of mandate i.e. how far does the GOI want to go; and not of capability.
Last edited by SriKumar on 09 Jun 2007 10:01, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby Rahul M » 09 Jun 2007 09:16

Of course time will tell, but I'd rather buy shares of TATA Motors than of HAL!


being financially succesful doesn't nescassarily translate into developing cutting edge tech products. reliance is an extremely succesful financial entity. what innovative piece of equipment has it contributed to the economy ?

the main difference between military industries and non-military ones is that in the former, most established producers won't share their tech with you even for a price and those that do will ask for cut-throat prices.
Sure they dont spend much of their own money on research, but neither does DRDO. It is GOI taxpayer money.


that really doesn't mean anything !!
and I didn't question ability of some pvt players to make it big in the future. my point was they were sure not going to contribute anything substantial now or in the near future.

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Postby SriKumar » 09 Jun 2007 09:32

Sure they dont spend much of their own money on research, but neither does DRDO. It is GOI taxpayer money.

that really doesn't mean anything !!
and I didn't question ability of some pvt players to make it big in the future. my point was they were sure not going to contribute anything substantial now or in the near future.
Actually, it does mean something. GOI currently funds all the research. It is not like DRDO is creating its own R&D funds from its profits. If the RUR concept is encouraged in a certain manner, GOI will have a choice; and the company, a source of R&D funds.

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Postby Rahul M » 09 Jun 2007 09:50

DRDO and profit ?? it's a R&D organisation buddy, it doesn't produce anything to sell for a profit and nor is it meant to. you really should read up a bit more before you discuss these things.

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Postby SriKumar » 09 Jun 2007 09:53

Rahul M wrote:DRDO and profit ?? it's a R&D organisation buddy, it doesn't produce anything to sell for a profit and nor is it meant to.
My point exactly. I fully understand what DRDO is about. My above comment was in response to your comment about company R&D budgets being low. It seems like you have not understood what you were insinuating there. R&D money does not have a good ROI and so for-profit companies are very leery about spending on pie-in-the-sky projects. Maybe you should clarify what point you were trying to make with your comment 'which company has more than 10% R&D budget'. The point is that companies (justifiably) wont spend their dime on hard-core R&D (i.e. more R than D), but if GOI funds it, they can ramp up their R&D, with focus on R as well as D.

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Postby narmad » 09 Jun 2007 10:52

My Earlier Post
The RUR concept, and a proposal to create a Defence Technology Development Fund, will transform India's defence procurement processes, a senior ministry official said. The fund, speculated to hold an initial corpus of Rs100 crore, envisages the government providing an advance of up to 80 per cent of funding to private companies for development of critical weapon systems.

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Postby gopal.suri » 09 Jun 2007 10:55

space foods in dfrl menu

:P Space Chicken Biriyani anyone?

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Postby Rahul M » 09 Jun 2007 11:08

SriKumar,
sorry to have got you wrong.
your statements were not very clear either for somebody not as omnipresent as you ! :P

The point is that companies (justifiably) wont spend their dime on hard-core R&D (i.e. more R than D), but if GOI funds it, they can ramp up their R&D, with focus on R as well as D.


I do agree. that tendency may crop up and has to be checked by outside means/accountability questions.

btw,
It seems like you have not understood what you were insinuating there.

care to clarify ??
Maybe you should clarify what point you were trying to make with your comment 'which company has more than 10% R&D budget'.


please read it once more in its correct context. I'm sure you will understand. I responded to rien's assumption that pvt players would perform better than DRDO since they have ex-DRDO guys on their rolls.
obviously he meant perform w.r.t R&D, isn't it ?
in a company that does not have a history of research the dedication to required by the top management to do r&d may be lacking. the mindset of these people would need to go through some drastic changes. that is not easy.
some companies will evolve and survive, a few would flourish and others would die off.

it is not just a matter of having ex-DRDO guys on your payrolls !

in all these economy/profit thingy, we are forgetting one thing.
"more r and less d" is also required if we are to do something new and path-breaking !
it is not nescessarily a bad thing. this is something very few pvt companies worldwide have a taste (or financial muscle) for. those that do become trail blazers. as an example the name of bell labs comes to the mind.

sometimes you would require projects that are not financially viable but strategically nescessary. in such cases, I'm afraid GoI will draw a line on how much it would finance r&d in pvt players. it would feel, let's say more comfortable to pump money to fund DRDO's research. :wink:
and if the issue is low and uneconomic scale of production for a particular commodity, rest assured GoI won't finance production lines in pvt companies.

and everybody around, do keep in mind that the main problem in India's MIC is not R&D but production and QC ! this is the main issue I hope the RUR's will address right now.

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Postby gopal.suri » 09 Jun 2007 11:48

A private company will run to either OFB, DRDO or a foreign agent to make or upgrade a system.

It will hire ex-defence, DRDO, OFB guys to run it. then they will serial manufacture it.

why not run these government establishments properly?

MRF created facilities for Arjun tanks. It is a wasted investment as the MoD wallas and Indian Army desided to drag the Arjun tank with more R&D than produce in variants.

So next time, Indian Army will not give time for TATA or L&T to showcase their products like they treat the Defence establishments, what will be the result?

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Postby SriKumar » 09 Jun 2007 11:59

Rahul M wrote: in a company that does not have a history of research the dedication to required by the top management to do r&d may be lacking. the mindset of these people would need to go through some drastic changes. that is not easy.
I agree that R&D is a different mindset which is not a mere extension of production process mentality. All I am saying is that with all that is already there in India, it is possible to get there, through a combination of ex-DRDO, GOI funding/company funding/anything else. Large companies (e.g. GE) can do something about this, but the reason Indian corporates house lag in this area (IMO) is is because they were kept out of the defence market-space. That is changing now, and I think this can also change how Indian companies do R&D, depending on what GOI is comfortable with.
in all these economy/profit thingy, we are forgetting one thing.
"more r and less d" is also required if we are to do something new and path-breaking !
it is not nescessarily a bad thing. this is something very few pvt companies worldwide have a taste (or financial muscle) for. those that do become trail blazers
Agreed.

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Postby JCage » 09 Jun 2007 14:07

SriSri wrote:JCage,

I had the very same debate very recently so I won't go through it in detail. I outlined your post and it questioned the capacity of any of the RUR probables to match the likes of HAL.

While it is true that they can't at the moment, I fail to see why you deduced that they won't ever in the future.


I dont think you understood what I have written, please reread it- my point has to do with overall design capabilities, which HAL has achieved over the past decade and thanks to its extant infra. Any RUR will have to invest far more, to catch up in a reduced timeframe.

Case in point:
None of the RURs have demonstrated anywhere near the gamut of overall design capabilities DRDO, BEL and ECIL have developed.


So what? Does it mean the highly rumoured Boeing-TATA F-18 production line can't materialize at all? (assuming say F-18 wins the MRCA)


There is a huge difference between design capability and license assembling whatever the US/ Etc bring in- and FYI, the production line will also go to HAL. The rumors started on account of the M2K line which was to be license assembled from kits on a very short TAT and they explored alternatives. As of now, there is no evidence of the TATAs or L&T handling the entire production bar DDM speculation. The Tatas and others will produce subcomponents and items- this by itself is good business, but the final integration, the overall program management will rest with HAL. A/C manufacturing and assembling is tricky business, and only they have the experience.

Design capability means the ability to do what ARDC is doing- design upgrades and implement them. It refers to what the Bangalore complex did for the LCA- develop most of its hydraulic and electromechanical LRUs!
Items such as the landing gear assembly and interlocks which were originally to be imported...that is not = just putting through an aircraft from kits!

So the point is that for a TATA or L&T to get to HAL level, they will need to work a lot on systems, on actual production lines, on investing in the same and then design items from scratch- all of these are tied to what India acquires, and then plot the same and see if TATA or L&T can ramp up in the way you envisage within a short timeframe!!


There is not a single RUR with a program anywhere near the scale of a LCA.


Again: While it is true that they can't at the moment, I fail to see why you deduced that they won't ever in the future.

--

Because I am aware of the amount of effort that goes into such a program and the risk involved, which no private manufacturer is willing to bear. The only way that could occur is if the GOI insulates them from risk- which would merit the question- why not the ADA/HAL itself then? The point is that no conglomerate in India is as of yet willing to be a joint stakeholder of the level that they should be to drive the program as joint owners, and not just feed off it.

In fact, compare even the plans of the RURs at this stage, and only TATA and L&T could address a few of the levels of capabilities demanded by the LCA program.



Also JCage, the industry evolves. The capability the Govt Org's have today will go extinct say in 50 years, so whatever they have now is not a free ticket forever.

Now I am not saying they go extinct tomorrow when the Govt. accepts Sengupta's recommendations. They might not go extinct at all. But they will have to ensure is they can match up to the competitive drive of the Private Sector.

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



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

Look at products: not public - private and all that jazz. To make a proper jammer- you need someone with:
- Experience in antennas and able to design the best system
- Positioning equipment
- The innards- TWT/ exciter/ receiver
- The software
-Most importantly, the practical experience in algorithms..

Now, you can hire someone for one of these categories, even get him a team, but the investment required for the complete set of capabilities is mindboggling...that is where the DRDO succeeds- because it has different labs each focusing on one of those key systems..and that capability is already there, it has built up over decades with steady drip feed funding accumulated over a variety of programs. Each of those labs has ancillaries marked out, other PSUs on the list..it is []this[/b] cooperative consortium which any manufacturer will have to develop that is not easy...

To replicate that is not only expensive, it is risky- and that is where the issue begins, because the amounts involved in defence are so huge, the risk factor is substantial..no TATA or Birla or whoever can walk up and say- "ok, let me invest 100 Crores in EW capability" (and to give you an idea, a proper program would be 8X that) without taking a risk that the GOI might not commit production to them...so as of now, they are exclusively tactical. They identify key programs which DRDO is working on, and join them.

It is DRDO which commits the program, identifies the stakeholders, insulates these guys from the program issues and commits funds. But the flip side is that at the overall level, it is DRDO which has the "big picture"- sure Astra is making Tx/Rx modules with DRDO help, but does it know what else is there in the AWACs and how CABS is managing it? TATA worked on several of the entity units of the Samyukta, but who did the overall design, layout, planning and the rest? Who designed the key hardware - including antennas, jammers, jammer subsystems!
And where is the entire sysintegration taking place? In a private firm or at BEL& ECIL?

So try to understand- over the long term, some firms will indeed graduate to the large scale system level projects. But India's needs are so substantial, that one group/company cant handle it all. There will also be DRDO. There will also be BEL. There will also be ECIL.
And thats the way it should be.

Look at Russia, China, US...multiple firms competing in the same space. Each firm has enough on its plate without worrying about the rest.


This is incorrect, not to say misleading.

It surely can't be "misleading" to mull the possibility of private sector participating in the defense industry?


No- most definitely not, but it is misleading to anticipate the death of the DRDO/PSU vs the private sector without knowing their respective strengths and weaknesses. The latter will take a decade to catch up in terms of design ability for some systems- if they choose to invest in the same. But all indications are that they are preffering to specialise in niche systems- which can of course span a large area by themselves, but are nowhere near the depth of capabilities needed for overall design.

What they also want are the floodgates to be thrown open to them without prior experience. That wont happen, because the GOIs R&D establishment also knows that some of the private manufacturers are all too keen upon acting like local subsidiaries of the eponymous arms manufacturers from Israel, Europe and the West. Little local R&D will be involved, even while the product is claimed to be indigenous.

This is exactly why there is so much public lobbying also going on about the "restrictive"/ anti-competition etc GOI- which being the curmedgeon it is, is insisting on only supporting those companies with a track record of R&D and not just gilding the lily.
Last edited by JCage on 09 Jun 2007 14:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby JCage » 09 Jun 2007 14:13

SriKumar wrote:.. but the reason Indian corporates house lag in this area (IMO) is is because they were kept out of the defence market-space. ...


This is only partially true, and that too for arms and munitions- the playground of the OFB.

As posted on this board earlier, GOI/ Rajiv gandhi himself invited the bigwigs of Indian industry including Bajaj & Tata to Bangalore to take ownership of the LCA project. They demurred.

So chances have been given, but the risk averse mentality of many of our leading bigwigs has been forgotten now, in the heady buzz of their recent drive. Remember many of these guys were against throwing the Indian market open as well. People change and changed they have, for the better, but earlier it was this same attitude which led them to avoid defence or anything high risk even when such offers as the LCA one were made, and concentrate on other issues.

Most definitely defence has been a closed space- but there were periodic efforts made to make it open which were passed by, by the Indian "titans"- who now dont remember those events. :wink:
Similarly, Kalam had to cajole many firms into supporting the IGMDP- they didnt anticipate the business value or even the long term prospects and had to be cajoled into participating.

The problem is not just with the private sector, our entire "closed system" had bred a status quoist hierarchy, which can be traced all the way back to Shri Nehru & co.

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Postby JCage » 09 Jun 2007 14:44

Rien wrote:The PSU's suffer a high turnover. Very few people working on the LCA today was the same team that started so long ago. The private companies will do far better than the DRDO ever could. After all, they *already* are where the people from DRDO went. If you wanted to find the people who started work at the DRDO, the private sector is where you will find them.


Lost my entire post, so will keep this brief.

I am talking of the company, not the people.

Is it really the case that there is no money in developing items for defence products? I would say it's more the way the DRDO develops it, there can be no profit.

There are several cases in point. The Sathi, which was a combined GPS/PDA. At the time it was developed, there were no units at that price point. It could have been a commercial success like the Tom Toms are today if not for the fact it was developed by the DRDO.


Wrong. SATHI is not DRDO but a product by Encore and BEL. SATHI is a success thanks to its support by the Army. You are confused about the SIMPUTER which is ENCORE-BEL and which is non competitive thanks to a price escalation in raw materials and is being reengineered.

Lockheed Martin and Boeing seemed to have managed to bridge this gap. Every single country from which India imports weapons has solved this problem.


L&M and Boeing were supported by the USG finances to a level which is impossible for India.

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Postby mandrake » 09 Jun 2007 15:11

Gentlemen, A guy in DRDO community in orkut has asked this, if anyone has some good idea? he can give him?

SOS-am a tight corner wid my project-rada-help pls
my project is about "identifying a missile based on radar parameters"... we(my team) have tried so much without fruit.... We need a parameter which can uniquely distinguish a missile.... and that parameter should be derivable from the radar backscatter(basic parameters).....

the main thing which puzzles me is , we r finding a method to identify other country's missile... i dont think any country a throwing off their designs and specifications of their missiles....... the parameter we have to find should be unique too..... am in a tight corner n dont know wat to do......

pls can any of u suggest wat to do....... my deadline for the project review is also nearing....
Link


:P

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Postby JCage » 09 Jun 2007 23:39

DRDO Newsletter..

Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL),
Visakhapatnam, organised a glittering
on the occasion of the National Productivity
Week celebrations during 12-18 February 2007 to
acknowledge and honour its industrial partners.
Dr A Sivathanu Pillai, DS, CC R&D (NS&ACE), DRDO was
the Chief Guest for the awards function which was attended
by 150 CEOs, CMDs, scientists, managers and proprietors
from 65 industries.
Appreciation awards and mementos
were presented to 12 PSUs and 52 private industries.
. On
this occasion, NSTLhanded over the Helicopter Fire Control
Systems and its accessories (HFCS)
developed by the laboratory against aResource Generation
Project

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Postby SriSri » 11 Jun 2007 06:58

DRDOs AWACS Programme In Jeopardy As Air Force Alters Requirements Mid Way
DRDOs AWACS Programme In Jeopardy As Air Force Alters Requirements Mid Way

Daily News & Updates
India Defence Premium
Dated 10/6/2007
Printer Friendly Subscribe

According to 'Defense News' the Indian Air Force is said to have modified the specifications for the indigenous airborne early warning and control system. These include changes in the radar requirements and other equipment, increasing the payload.

The Air Force has recommended the use of a larger Boeing or Airbus based platform rather than Embraer and Gulf Stream planes shortlisted for the program by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

DRDO is now seeking additional funding for this project from the Ministry of Defence as a shift to the Boeing/Airbus platform will result in a 40-45% price increase (approximately $210-220 million).

The weight of the planned AWACS has gone from about 4,500 kilograms to more than 7,000 kilograms to meet the revised Air
Force requirements. The program is now said to be on hold till the MOD clearance for additional funds is sought.

Domestic companies working with the DRDO center on the AWACS project include Bharat Electronics, the Defence Avionics Research Establishment, and the Electronics and Radar Development Establishment, all in Bangalore.

India in 2004 inked a $1.1 billion deal to have Israeli Phalcon radars mounted on three Russian-built Il-76 aircraft to be used as AWACS. The delivery of the aircraft will begin in mid-2007.
India began an urgent search for an AWACS after the DRDO-developed mini-AWACS, aboard an HS-748 Avro aircraft, crashed during testing in 1999.

The DRDO scientist said the current AWACS project will take at least another 10 years to complete if the Air Force freezes the design of the platform and the payload of the AWACS. But Air Force officials in private said they would rather get an imported AWACS than wait for the DRDO to develop one.

This is not the first time the Indian Armed Forces has changed specifications and requirements mid-way through the project; and the frequency with which it has happened has sabotaged the progress of indigenous programs in the past.

Analysts believe that their is a growing disconnect between participants in the entire mechanism and the Armed Forces aren't solely to blame as they themselves are undergoing a critical modernization drive.

http://www.india-defence.com/reports-3294


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