India’s missile and military aircraft manufacturers are setting up new assembly lines to produce more indigenous missiles and combat and utility helicopters for the armed forces.
While missile maker Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Hyderabad, is setting up three new production units, Bangalore-based aviation major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has asked the defence estates department to locate 1,000 acres of land for setting up a new division for helicopters, Defence Minister A K Antony said in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
Bidar in north Karnataka and Butibori in Maharashtra were inspected by HAL officials for the purpose. But no decision has been taken yet.
BDL is setting up new units at Visakhapatnam and Ibrahimpatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Amravathi in Maharashtra.
The Visakhapatnam unit, sources said, will manufacture light-weight torpedoes for the Indian Navy. BDL has acquired 10.32 acres.
A Rs 76-crore factory is scheduled to be completed by December 2013.
The factory will produce an electrically propelled, self-homing torpedo that can be launched from ships and helicopters. It can hunt submarines at 33 knots, with an endurance of six minutes in shallow and deep waters.
The other two BDL units are bigger. The 553-acre unit at Amravathi will be used to set up an assembly line for the Akash surface-to-air-missiles. The Army has placed a Rs 14,000-crore order for two regiments of Akash missiles for air defence. An order from the Indian Air Force is also expected.