October 25, 2014

Make in India: US giant General Atomics scouting for local partners to make next-gen weapons

In a bid to exploit the ‘Make in India' policy initiated by the Narendra Modi government, US-based global defence and nuclear giant General Atomics is looking for local partners to build next-generation weapons and support systems based on advanced electromagnetic technologies in the country. The company has already established base in India and has appointed Vivek Lall, who has worked for Boeing, Raytheon and NASA and has been globally recognized as an aerospace leader, as CEO for US and international commercial strategic development for General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (EMS).
According to sources, PM Narendra Modi met select business leaders in Washington during his recent visit, including Lall, which could result in win-win business opportunities for both countries in support of Modi's ‘Make in India’ campaign.
Several Indian companies, including L&T and Pipavav, have apparently shown interest in co-production of such a high technology system. Electromagnetic Systems is developing and building state-of-the-art linear induction motors and control systems to launch aircraft from carriers, replacing steam-driven catapults, and is incorporating advanced rotating motors into new arresting gear systems for recovery of aircraft. This is precisely targeted for the US navy and is being showcased as next generation modernisation.
Sources in the ministry of defence (MoD) have indicated the Indian Navy is keen on this system as it looks at future aircraft carrier needs.
General Atomics/EMS is developing next-generation weapons and support systems based on advanced electromagnetic technologies that can improve operational effectiveness and efficiency. EMS is leading the development of pulsed power systems for rail guns, which can launch projectiles without propellants or explosives.
The company is also a world-class developer, designer, and manufacturer of high voltage capacitors for DC, pulse, high frequency AC, and specialised applications. This could have significant applications in India's stated renewable and solar energy aspirations.
The Gulftronic Electrostatic Separator removes catalyst particles (fines) from FCC/RFCC slurry oil. The Gulftronic Electrostatic Separator is a continuous operation, electrostatic, on-stream separation system currently in use by most major oil companies.
So far, more than 50 systems have been installed at petroleum refineries worldwide, including Reliance Industries in India. GA's TRIGA reactor is the most widely used non-power nuclear reactor in the world. With India's nuclear liability laws under debate, this could be another area the company could partner with the Indian government. Since the beginning of nuclear power, GA has provided custom designed, environmentally- and seismically-qualified radiation monitoring equipment to the nuclear power industry.


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