JSC AGAT- Unique Approach Towards After-Sales Support
Concern Morinformsystem-AGAT is an umbrella organisation in Russian Shipbuilding Industry comprising 16 important institutes and plants. Our niche areas of specialisation are in Integrated Combat Control and Information Complexes to operate ship missile and artillery weapon systems, Naval Coast and Ship-borne Radars, Ship Fire Fighting and Alarm Systems, Computer Aided Integrated Ship Management Systems, Hydro-Acoustic Systems, etc., says Dr. Georgy V Antsev, the General Director – General Designer of JSC Concern Morinformsystem-Agat. On the side lines of Defexpo 2018 Dr Antsev, gives a candid view of his enterprise and talks about a new approach to after-sales support. A few excerpts from the interview.
1. Can you kindly give us a brief account of your company in terms of its genealogy & niche areas of specialization?
JSC Concern Morinformsystem-AGAT (Concern AGAT) has a long and rich history. The Central Research Institute “Agat” (CRI AGAT) was established in 1972. Its genealogy can be traced to the Special Design Bureau of shipbuilding industry created in 1942 and Maritime Research Institute created in 1960. In 1978, CRI AGAT was converted into Scientific Production Association AGAT (SPA AGAT). In 2004 JSC Concern Morinformsystem- AGAT was formed amalgamating SPA AGAT, SPA MARS, CRI KURS, Production Association BINOM, Scientific Production Enterprise KALUGA and Instrument Making Plant Typhoon. Subsequently in 2007 Product Association KOMETA, Research and Production Firm Meridian, Plant IZUMRUD, Design Bureau AMETIEST, Plant TOPAZ and Scientific Production Enterprise SALYUT were incorporated in Concern AGAT. Today, Concern Morinformsystem-AGAT is an umbrella organisation in Russian Shipbuilding Industry comprising 16 important institutes and plants. Our niche areas of specialisation are in Integrated Combat Control and Information Complexes to operate ship missile and artillery weapon systems, Naval Coast and Ship-borne Radars, Ship Fire Fighting and Alarm Systems, Computer Aided Integrated Ship Management Systems, Hydro-Acoustic Systems, etc.
2. Could you talk about the range of products of your enterprise currently in operations in the Indian Navy?
Most of the weapons command and control systems which are in use on Russian origin ships and submarines of the Indian Navy are products of OEMs under JSC AGAT. Missile and artillery combat control systems for Club series of missiles, MR-123 and Puma (5P-10) artillery systems, Fregat, Positive and Podberezovik series of radars as well as combat management system Lesorub of Vikramaditya, they all are from the stable of JSC AGAT.
3. As we understand, JSC AGAT is one of the enterprises recently endowed with the Russian state approval for foreign trade activities in the field of military-technical cooperation. How do you plan to leverage this license to scale up your business or make a mark in India?
Earlier, JSC Agat as well as the enterprises under it had to operate through Rosoboronexport for after sales support. Now, as a result of this license, JSC Agat and the OEMs under it have direct access to the customer. Therefore, quality and content of technical interaction with the customer will improve manifold. The response time will also reduce substantially due to direct interaction and delivery of services. Further, this will enable better appreciation of customer’s needs in terms of improvements required in obsolescence management and upgradation of systems. All through this, direct marketing possibilities also increase.
4. Can you outline the key approaches that you would embark upon in giving a fillip to enhance the after sales support for the product portfolio of JSC Agat in Indian Navy?
Our approach will be comprehensive and encompasses the following: -
- Optimize (reduce) service delivery time: provide post-sale support by using a comprehensive approach based on monitoring and forecasting of conditions of customer’s military equipment.
- Improve recent post-sale support system considering customer’s demands.
- Develop long term post-sale support schedules.
- Apply a comprehensive approach that involves various types of technical support (including the capabilities of Indian companies).
- Optimize post-sale support procedures (development of an electronic system based on SPTA cataloguing a web-portal for customers support, etc.
5. How do you plan to achieve these laudable goals?
The key to success of after-sales service is its delivery at the customer’s doorstep in an efficient and cost-effective manner, on demand. This indeed is a major challenge as it is not practical or cost effective to deploy the OEM resources at diverse locations of the customer. Accordingly, we have entered into partnership agreements with reputed Indian companies, which have requisite domain knowledge, expertise and good track record of over 20 years.
6. There is an increasing focus on “Make in India” in India’s defence production policy. Russia has been its largest Arms supplier. What are your plans to participate in the “Make in India” initiative?
We are indeed keen to participate in the “Make in India” scheme. However, it is important to establish the economic viability of the endeavour so that it is practical and sustainable.
Therefore, we will adopt a step by step approach. First will be to identify fast moving products as well as system upgradation requirements. Local manufacture would be the next step for parts and assemblies. Assured viable numbers would be the key to manufacture locally and I am sure the Indian side is aware of this.
7. We have often heard about versatility and uniqueness of Russian designs. Could you throw some light onto such innovations from JSC Agat?
There are many innovations and we are all the time upgrading and improving our systems. A multipurpose missile launcher is worthy of mention here. A single launch system incorporates all the existing advantages of Club and BrahMos Missile Systems whereby any type of these missiles can be loaded in different configurations for surface ship, land attack or underwater targets. We are hopeful next set of Indian Naval warships will seek these launchers.
8. With systems becoming so complex and crew turnaround inevitable, how are you addressing the need for training of the operators and operations team?
We provide tactical training simulators for training centres. These are aimed to provide practical training to various type submarine and surface ship crew. They provide crew with training to operate in multiple target and dense EW environment. In addition, every system has its own simulated target generation features as well as settings for interference conditions with a possibility to engage targets with practice missiles.