Indian Defence Review interview
What are your capabilities when it comes to manufacture of indigenous aircraft, helicopters and UAVs in India?
Kalyani group has invested sizeable resources in developing capabilities for manufacturing of indigenous aircraft, helicopters and UAVs. We are adept at handling ‘Systems of Systems’ projects and ToT programs. We have extensive experience in manufacturing and supplying critical components for the aerospace sector including Jet engine parts, Aircraft Structural components, Under Carriage and Transmission Systems. Our customer base includes major OEMs like Safran, Rolls Royce, Boeing and Liebherr, UTAS and HAL. We have detailed process capabilities along with state of the art manufacturing facility and in-house testing facilities, including metallurgical, mechanical, NDT and metrology. One of the few companies to have NADCAP and AS9100 certifications, our quality processes are unmatched. Not only these, we even have availability of hangar and land space exclusively for production, assembly and testing of Aircraft/Helicopters. Overall, the Kalyani Group is very well poised and prepared to undertake indigenous manufacturing for aircraft, helicopters and UAVs.
What are Kalyani Group’s capacities to meet the requirement of towed artillery systems to meet armed forces requirements by way of numbers and schedules?
Using its strong platform of metallurgical knowledge, design & engineering capability and manufacturing prowess, the group has over the last few years, invested heavily to create a world class manufacturing eco system for Artillery guns. From making their own ESR grade (weapon grade) steel to having full-service supply capability – right from product conceptualization to designing to manufacturing, product testing and validation, Kalyani Group, along with its flagship company Bharat Forge Ltd has deftly leveraged its experience, resources, knowledge and quality leadership to steer its course through the complex maze of Artillery systems. Backed by several decades of experience in metal forming, forging, machining and metallurgy, the group has realised major breakthrough in Artillery segment within a short frame of time. An end-to-end solution provider, its indigenously designed, developed and manufactured product profile includes a series of guns – Bharat 52 (155mm/52cal), ATAGS (155mm/52cal), Bharat 45 (155mm/45cal), MArG – Steel and Titanium (155mm/39cal), Super ULH (155mm/39cal) and Garuda 105 (105mm/37cal).
Kalyani Group has developed state of the art facility, technological know-how and skill sets in the process of developing these Artillery platforms. Our platforms are also extremely cost competitive than most of the solutions available in the world today. Most importantly, we make the complete ordnance in-house. World over, all the successful OEMs make their own ordnance. As a matter of fact, unless the ordnance of a gun is made in the country, you can never claim a gun to be truly ‘Made in India’.
We are well poised to take on the requirements of towed artillery systems to meet armed forces requirements. From our side, we can produce 100 guns per year which can be further scaled up to 150 guns per year.
How is ATGAS program shaping up, in view of its approval by DAC?
ATAGS is a program of national importance. Here is a complete indigenous solution which can beat its competition both technically and commercially. The performance of the systems in terms of range, accuracy and mobility is unmatched. Also, the involvement of private industry by the DRDO at system level is a paradigm shift and has resulted in realising this state of the art weapon platform in the fastest time frame. More such initiatives will help realise the vision of self-reliance, establish a vibrant defence industrial base in the country and will give Impetus to Make in India.
By end of this month, the user trials are to commence. The DAC approved procurement will go through its procurement cycle hopefully on fast track.
What are the latest developments in regards to armoured vehicles?
After Artillery, armoured vehicle is the segment which has performed very well in our case. Within a short span of 4 years, the Kalyani Group has emerged to be a formidable leader in the Protected Vehicles Segment. Their product profile boasts of vehicles like the Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), Light Bullet Resistant Vehicle (LBRV), Ultra-Light Strike Vehicle (ULSV), Light Armoured Vehicle (LAM) and the Armoured Troop Carrier (ATC). We are now exporting our vehicles to Sri Lanka and to the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces.
In the component space, we are a regular supplier of engine parts, transmission parts and running gear components to government of India. In fact, in many cases, we are the sole private industry supplier.
Other than artillery guns and armoured vehicles, what else is Bharat Forge working on?
BFL aims at designing and developing state of the art, high quality military hardware using indigenous talent and innovation. 2019 will see our most of our gun platforms completing their complete validation and becoming ready for sale, especially MArG (155/39 ULH). We are also focusing on enhancing our capabilities in the aerospace segment with special attention on indigenous manufacturing of helicopters. We are expanding KRAS product profile to include high tech systems like Long Range Guided Bomb (LRGB), MRSAM, LLQRM, QRSAM as well as the Naval Gun Program and Drone Dome System. Some other key technology areas we are working on are precision ammunition, jet engines, seeker technology and small arms. We are also foraying into naval applications with unmanned underwater vehicles.