Widening Eye in the Sky

By Editor 2020


From Pechora surface-to-air missile systems, state-of-the-art communication switch boards for army filed units to satellite ground receiving terminals and PSLV launchers, Alpha Design Technologies’ domain of defence and aerospace manufacture is ever expanding. Col. H.S. Shankar, Chairman & Managing Director, ADTL, speaks to Aeromag on the breakthroughs in its Israeli joint venture for close-range tactical and loitering munitions unmanned air vehicle systems.

Could you explain to us the latest projects Alpha Design Technologies Ltd (ADTL) is carrying out jointly with DRDO for the Indian Army and paramilitary forces?
Col. H.S. Shankar: ADTL has been declared as L1 for the prestigious Pichora Radar / Missile Upgrade Project. The project is to be completed in next three years.
The Ministry of Defence has placed a contract on ADTL for manufacture and supply of 1,545 numbers of indigenously developed ULSB Mk III.  This is in addition to 2,000 numbers ULSB Mk III already manufactured and supplied three years back.
We have made significant progress in major R&D projects, such as Software Defined Radios (Both for IAF and Army), High Capacity Radio Relay, Tactical Access Switch, BMP-2 Upgrade (with modified T-72 TIFCS), EW Suites, etc.Tremendous strides have been taken both by DRDO and ADTL on major IFF projects of CABS (Interrogator, Transponder and Combined RF Seeker for MR-SAM, Missile Launch Detection System (MILDS) for Mi-17 and Mi-17 1 V Upgrade, EW sub-systems, etc.

ADTL’s collaboration with Elbit Security Systems of Israel has led to many breakthroughs. Please elaborate.
A major breakthrough for A-Elsec JVC is the establishment of facilities of UAVs (Sky Lark and Sky Striker) and export of air frames for these UAVs to Israel. Alpha-Elsec’s E.O. manufacturing group also exports critical units for COAPS (Commander’s Architectural Panoramic Sight) and for TIFCS version for Thailand’s project for upgradation of US made M-16 tanks.

ADTL is the Offset Partner of major OEMs based in Russia. Could you update us on the notable projects carried out at present in this regard?
A major project is Integrated BMP-2 Missile Simulator. MoD has placed orders for 57 Simulators. ADTL was placed L1 for Pichora Radar/ Missile Upgrade.

The Company is also deeply involved in space and works closely with the ISRO. What are the major ongoing programmes in this sector?
We lead a consortium of 50+ engineers/ technicians under ISRO’s guidance which had earlier assembled, integrated and tested (AIT) two 1.635 Ton Satellites (IRNSS 1 (h) and 1 (i)) for the Indian GPS Program.The same team of ADTL carried out AIT under ISRO’s guidance of third and bigger 3.5 Ton GSAT 30 Satellite (Communication Set) which was launched on January 17, 2020 from French New Guinea Arian Launch Pad successfully.
ADTL teams are now carrying out AIT under ISRO’s guidance on one of the priority satellites to be launched during April 2020.
We had a grand success in Hon’ble Minister of State for Home launching POLNET 2.0 (Pan India Police Network 2.0) at a gala function in Delhi on January 20, 2020.
We have continued executing major Hub and Ground Antenna receiving terminals at SAARC Countries (our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated ADTL’s 140 stations in Bhutan recently), Andaman & Nicobar, etc.ADTL along with our Investor Adani has taken part as a Consortium with BEL (Head) and BEML on productionisation of five PSLV Launchers.

As part of expansion plans, ADTL had started construction of a new building in Bangalore sometime ago. What is its present status? Also, enlighten us about the Company’s other efforts for expansion.
ADTL has five acres of land allocated at SEZ zone in Aerospace Part.  Building in two acres of land is under construction and it is expected to be completed by October 2020.

Could you give us an idea about the order book of ADTL?
ADTL has order book (confirmed plus those in pipeline with ADTL as L1) of Rs. 3,100 crores for next five years.

The Government of India has set an ambitious target for Defence exports. How can private sector companies like ADTL support this initiative? What are ADTL’s specific plans in this regard?
Export sales turnover for 2018-19 and 2019-20 is to the tune of 85% - that is the highest ratio in India!

‘Make in India’ is another landmark programme being implemented by the Indian Government. Could you explain the measures taken by ADTL to implement this initiative?
R&D is the key and also for technologies absorbed by Offset Projects, Mk II and Mk III versions have been developed indigenously and offered to Defence Forces for trials/ evaluations – some of them through Suo-Moto Make II Proposals.

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