The Zealous and Dynamic Force behind India’s Peace - Bharat Dynamics Limited
Today India is on the threshold of entering into a new era where it stands committed to making the nation self-reliant in defence production. Established in 1970, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) is the main producer of the India’s range of missiles and missile defence systems. Started its journey in a modest way with a single product, BDL over the last five decades has evolved into a multi-product, multi-unit, handling varied technologies catering to the needs of the Indian Armed Forces. With an apt sobriquet, ‘Force Behind Peace’, BDL aims to become a leading manufacturer in the aerospace and underwater weapons industry. Under the able leadership of Cmde Siddharth Mishra (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director, BDL strives to emerge as a world-class sophisticated, state-of-the-art, global enterprise, providing solutions to the security system needs of the country.
Being the backbone of India’s missile armoury is not an easy task and it becomes even more difficult, when one has to be the sole manufacturer and supplier of Surface- to- Air Missiles, Anti - Tank Guided Missiles and Torpedoes to the Indian Armed Forces. But when the task is taken up as a challenge with ‘zeal to excel and zest for change’, the results would be awe-inspiring and a motivation to other defence players in India, especially at a time when the country is poised to achieve self-reliance in defence production. And it is nothing other than sheer dedication and clear-cut that has helped Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), India’s premier Defence PSU, in marking major milestones in its success journey that spans over 50 years.
Over the last five decades, the Hyderabad-headquartered Miniratna Category-1 Company under the Department of Defence Production, has graduated from being a missile manufacturer to a Weapon System Integrator and has emerged as a complete solution provider for the Indian Armed Forces. When India took the lead to develop indigenous, sophisticated and contemporary missiles through the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), it has opened up a plethora of opportunities for BDL to assimilate advanced manufacturing and programme management technologies and skills. With a quest for technological excellence, the organization has been living up to the sobriquet, ‘The Force Behind Peace’.
“Today, BDL has evolved as one among the few industries in the world having state-of-the-art facilities for manufacture and supply of Guided Missiles, Underwater Weapons, Air- borne products and allied defence equipment for the Indian Armed Forces. The company also offers Product Life Cycle Support and Refurbishment / Life Extension of vintage Missiles. The company is poised to enter new avenues of manufacturing, covering a wide range of weapon systems such as Surface-to-Air Missiles, Air Defence Systems, Heavy Weight Torpedoes, Air-to-Air Missiles etc.,” said Cmde Siddharth Mishra (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director, BDL
BDL is also amongst a few industries in the world having state-of-the-art facilities for the production of Guided Missiles and associated equipment, Underwater Weapons (Torpedoes, decoys and decoy launchers etc.), Airborne Products (Counter Measures Dispensing Systems), Ground Support Equipment, Product Life Cycle Support and Refurbishment / Life Extension of Missiles. BDL is on a consistent growth path and in pursuit of its self-reliance. BDL has established an in-house R&D Division which complements DRDO’s endeavours for manufacture of missiles under Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme and other projects.
Akash Export Orders Gives a Big Boost
With the central government having given the clearance of its Akash Weapon System for export, BDL is geared up to take up export order. Given the export potential and demand of Akash in the international market, BDL has been promoting the product at various forums including national and international exhibitions. The missile being offered for exports will be of a different version. BDL is already supplying Torpedoes to a foreign country and Akash exports are likely to strengthen its export arm.
The Akash Weapon System, designed and developed by DRDO with 96% indigenous content is being manufactured by BDL at its Hyderabad Unit with a large number of supply chain partners which include DPSUs, MSMEs and private industry. Akash Missile has the capability to engage aerial threats up to the maximum range of 25 km and upto an altitude of 18 km., operating at a speed range of 1.8 to 2.5 Mach. The missile has been successfully test fired on several occasions and meets the global standard of missiles of its category.
Cmde Mishra has said that with the export clearance having accorded , BDL is set to expand its customer base in the international market. “The company is confident of meeting the export demand in addition to meeting requirements of the Indian Armed Forces, as BDL has adequate established production facilities,” he said.
Local Manufacture of STARStreak Air Defence System
BDL and UK’s Thales have signed a Teaming Agreement to work in partnership on the STARStreak Air Defence System. BDL will become a part of the STARStreak global supply chain, providing the opportunity for export of the system to existing and future STARStreak Air Defence customers, including the UK Armed Forces through this agreement. BDL, as a part of its Global Outreach, is endeavouring to forge alliance with foreign companies to take the Make in India mission further.
The agreement will also provide opportunity for BDL to offer STARStreak missile system to the Indian Armed Forces with a minimum of 60%of indigenous content, as well as Design and Development of the system, qualifying it under the Make in India programme. “Transfer of Technology for STARStreak will create a new business opportunity for BDL and its Supply Chain Partners in India. BDL will be able to enhance its footprints in the export market in addition to domestic market with this new business opportunity,” said Cmde Mishra.
BDL has been in its path of indigenization and contributing greatly to the import substitution programmes of India. BDL is putting up determined efforts towards Indigenization of ATGMs with the objective of increasing self-reliance, reduction of Foreign Exchange out flow and achieving cost reduction. To reduce its dependency on foreign OEMs, the company has successfully achieved 71 - 90% of indigenization against target of 63 - 71% and 10 - 24% for "all-time import items" for the ATGMs being currently supplied to the Indian Army.
BDL has adopted and implemented several steps under Make in India programme. ‘Make in India’ programme and the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ have created a congenial ecosystem for the company to offer its products/services to the global buyers at competitive rates.
Dedicated System Engineering Group and Indigenization Department was set up at divisional levels for Indigenization of Items/ Assembly, which are imported from foreign OEMs. The objective is to attain self-reliance in maintaining spare parts for longer period.