Indian industry today is on the threshold of entering into a new era where it will assume greater responsibility in making the nation self-reliant in Defence Production. The resurgence of India’s manufacturing sector has been remarkable. Not only are the profits soaring, the sector is also making its presence felt abroad as many Indian firms are becoming transnational companies.
The Indian manufacturing sector is internationally competitive with international quality standards, efficiency and manufacturing facilities. India is fast developing into a manufacturing hub for world corporations wanting to leverage the sector’s proven skills in product design, reconfiguration and customization with creativity, assured quality and value addition.
India, also keen to strengthen its own aerospace industry and has asked major weapon exporting countries to transfer technology to India.
Indian Aerospace Industry
The Indian Aerospace Industry is witnessing an unprecedented growth. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which is fully owned by the Government of India, is the premier aerospace company in the country. HAL has played a major role in the Defence aviation of India through design, manufacture and overhaul of fighters, trainers, helicopters, transport aircraft, engines, avionics and system equipment. HAL is now ranked 34th in the list of world’s top 100 defence companies.
HAL is a major partner for the Space programmes of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and manufactures structures and assemblies for the launch vehicles and satellites at its dedicated Aerospace Division in Bangalore.
The civil aviation sector in India is growing rapidly. It has recorded annual growth of over 41% in passenger traffic during in the last two years. In fact, it has contributed significantly to the growth of international civil aviation sector. The rapid growth of civil aviation has put extreme pressure on the existing civil aviation infrastructure. As a result, the thrust is now on modernization of airports, communications, navigation and surveillance systems for air traffic management, radars and facilities for Maintenance Repair and Overhaul of aircraft and sub systems.
There is thus enormous potential and huge opportunities for collaboration and creation of joint ventures in the aerospace sector in India for establishing Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) facilities for civil and military aircraft, overhaul and maintenance of aero engines and production of avionics, components and accessories both in the civil and military aviation sectors. Major global aviation industry are already eyeing the local market in India and scouting for outsourcing aerospace and defence products as India is fast emerging as a center for engineering and design services.
1. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (Hal)
HAL, a Defence PSU, is a major player in the global aviation arena. It has built up comprehensive skills in design, manufacture and overhaul of fighters, trainers, helicopters, transport aircraft, engines, avionics and system equipment. Its product track record consists of 12 types of aircraft from in-house R&D and 14 types by licence production inclusive of 8 types of aero engines and over 1000 items of aircraft system equipment (avionics, mechanical, electrical).
HAL has produced over 3550 aircraft, 3650 aero-engines and overhauled around 8750 aircraft & 28400 engines besides manufacture/overhaul of related accessories and avionics. The Company has the requisite core competence base with a demonstrated potential to become a global player.
HAL has 19 production divisions for manufacture and overhaul of aircraft, helicopters, engine and accessories. It has also 9 R&D Centres to give a thrust to research & development.
HAL’s major supplies/services are to Indian Air Force, Indian Navy, Indian Army, Coast Guard and Border Security Force. Transport aircraft and Helicopters have been supplied to Airlines as well as State Governments. The Company has also achieved a foothold in export in more than 20 countries, having demonstrated its quality and price competitiveness. HAL is a major partner for the Space Vehicle programmes of the Indian Space Research Organisation. It has also diversified into the fields of industrial & marine gas turbine business and real-time software business.
HAL is now ranked 34th in the list of world’s top 100 defence companies. HAL continues its growth with a sales turnover of 2.1 Billion US Dollars during the financial year 2007-08. It has doubled its turnover in 3 years. It has declared profit before tax of 538 Million US Dollars. The company has made supplies to almost all the major aerospace companies in the World like Airbus, Boeing, IAI, IRKUT, Honeywell and Ruag etc.
All the production Divisions of HAL have ISO 9001-2000 accreditation and sixteen divisions have ISO-14001-2004 environment management system (EMS) certification. Six divisions have also implemented the aerospace sector quality management system requirements stated in As 9100 standard and obtained certification. Four of these divisions have also obtained NADCAP certification (National Aerospace Defence Contractors Accreditation programme –USA) for special processes such as NDT, heat treatment, welding etc.
In order to meet with the challenges in the 21st Century, the Company has redefined its mission as follows:
“To become a globally competitive aerospace industry while working as an instrument for achieving self-reliance in design, manufacture and maintenance of aerospace equipment, Civil Transport Aircraft, helicopter & missiles and diversifying to related areas, managing the business on commercial lines in a climate of growing professional competence.”
HAL has successfully designed & developed the Advanced Light Helicopter, which is currently being operated by the Defence Services of India and private Companies. The Advanced Light Helicopter also has great export potential. Apart from licence production of front line fighters like Su-30 MKI, HAL is also developing the following products through design and development:
-- Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT)
-- Light combat helicopter (LCH)
-- Weaponization of Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH)
-- Tejas-Light Combat Aircraft
2. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
Government of India established the Department of Space in 1972 to promote development and application of space science and technology in the country for the socio-economic benefits. Indian Space Research organization (ISRO) is the primary agency under the Department of Space for executing space programmes. During the early seventies, India undertook demonstration of space applications for communication, television broadcasting and remote sensing building experimental satellites namely, APPLE, Bhaskara – and experimental satellite launch vehicles, SLV-3 and ASLV.
Today, India has an impressive array of achievements with the largest constellation of domestic communication satellites called Indian National Satellite System (INSAT) in the Asia pacific region with about 210 transponders in orbit. And, India has plans to augment the capacity with the launching of INSAT satellites and increase it to about 500 in 4-5 years to meet its growing needs.
India also has the largest constellation of earth observation satellites called Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites with better than one meter resolution. IRS data is being used for a variety of applications such as crop yield estimation, drinking water missions, waste land development, forest cover mapping and a host of other applications benefiting the common man. Using INSATs, besides TV Broadcasting, telecommunications and meteorological applications societal applications such as tele-education, telemedicine applications have been operationalised. Village Resource Centers (VRCs) combining the services of IRS and INSAT satellites for providing an array of services have been established. India, today is considered as a leader in the application of space technology. INSAT and IRS satellites are also providing invaluable services in disaster management.
To put the IRS and INSAT satellites into orbit, India has developed two work horse launch vehicles namely the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). PSLV weighing about 300 tons at lift off has the capability to put 1500 kg satellite in polar sun-synchronous orbit. PSLV with eleven consecutively successful launches has demonstrated its high reliability. PSLV has launched eight satellites for various customers from abroad. GSLV with four successful flights is capable of launching 2200 kg satellites into geo-stationary Transfer Orbit. India has also created world class facilities at its space port in Sriharikota near Chennai with launch pads besides a host of test facilities for testing satellites and launch vehicle systems.
3. Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO)
DRDO is a network of 52 Defence Laboratories in India which are deeply engaged in developing critical defence technologies covering various disciplines like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, combat vehicles, engineering system, instrumentation, missiles, advanced computing and simulation, special materials, naval systems, life sciences, information systems and agriculture.
Presently over 5000 scientists and about 25000 other scientific technical and supporting personnel back the organization. Several major projects for the development of missiles, armaments, light combat aircrafts, radars, electronic warfare systems etc are on hand and significant achievements have already been made in several such technologies.
4. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL)
BEL was established in 1954 to meet the specialized electronic needs of the country’s defence services, is a multi-product, multi-technology, multi-unit company. It serves the needs of domestic and foreign customers with the products/services manufactured in its nine state-of-the-art ISO 9001/2 and ISO 14000 certified manufacturing plants in India.
BEL manufactures a wide repertoire of products in the field of Radars, Naval systems, Defence Communication, Telecommunication and Broadcasting, Electronic Warfare, Opto Electronics, Tank Electronics and Electronic Components. With the expertise developed over the years, the company also provides turnkey systems solutions and Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) on “Build to Print” and “Build to Spec” basis. BEL has become a US $ 1 Billion company in the financial year 2007-08.
5. Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL)
BDL is fully owned by the Government of India, was established in 1970. BDL manufactures guided weapons & related test equipment, Launchers, under water weapon systems and decoys for the Indian Defence Services. BDL is the nominated Production Agency for the indigenous Integrated Missile Development Programme.
Starting with production of 1st Generation Anti tank Guided missiles, the Company has grown into a multi technology and multi product organization. Collaborative association with DRDO and world leaders in missile manufacturing has enabled BDL assimilate critical technologies and emerge as a globally competitive and reliable defence equipment manufacturer.
6. Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML Limited)
BEML Limited, Government of India Company, is one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of earthmoving, construction and mining equipment in Asia. With over 42 years of experience, BEML is one of the premier engineering companies in India and plays a significant role in providing vital inputs to the core sectors of the economy, apart from manufacturing a wide range of tailor-made equipment for the Indian Defence sector.
BEML manufactures a wide range of sophisticated hi-tech equipment like bulldozers, rear dump truck, front-end loaders, hydraulic excavators, rope shovels, motor graders, walking draglines, pipe layers, tyre handling equipment, aircraft towing tractor, heavy duty transportation trailers, heavy duty trucks and its prime movers, rail coaches including day coaches, sleeper coaches, postal vans, track-laying equipment, overhead Inspection cars, diesel engines and gensets.
7. Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)
The Indian Ordnance Factories possess the unique distinction of more than 200 years of experience in Defence production. Under the aegis of its corporate headquarters the Ordnance Factory Board, the organization is currently engaged in production, logistics, research & development and trade in the field of defence.
Ordnance Factory Board offers comprehensive range in the areas of land, naval and air defence systems. These include small, medium and large caliber weapons & ammunition, mortars, explosives, pyrotechnics, armoured & soft skin vehicles, optical & night vision devices, parachutes and troop comfort items.
8. Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI)
MIDHANI – an ISO 9002 company - caters to domestic and international customers with modern metallurgical facilities and high degree of technical competence for manufacturing its diverse product mix of superalloys, titanium alloys, special purpose steels, electrical resistance & softmagnetic alloys, molybedenum and other alloys meeting the stringent requirements of the strategic sectors like defence, aerospace, power and general engineering etc.
MIDHANI employs its highly integrated and flexible manufacturing facilities to produce a wide variety of special metals and alloys in various mill forms such as ingots, forged bars, hot rolled steels and bar, cold rolled sheets, strips and foils, wires, castings and tubes.
9. BrahMos Aerospace
BRAHMOS-supersonic cruise missile is designed for use in multiple platforms- ships, silos, mobile launchers, aircrafts and submarines against land and sea targets. BRAHMOS is the World leader flying all through supersonic with maneuverable trajectories ensuring no reaction time to the enemy and a lethal punch owing to huge kinetic energy of impact.
BRAHMOS has attained 100% success rates in all flight trials proving the adequacy of the missile system to a maximum range of 290 km with high accuracy and lethality establishing the reliability of the system in all weather conditions. Indian Navy & army have started the induction of the weapon system. The system will also be exported to a few friendly countries.