February 20, 2015

BEL to soon start production of Akash Missile system for Army

Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL),the public sector defence undertaking based in Bengaluru, is set to commence mass production of Akash Missile System (AMS) for the Indian Army, a top company official said.

“We are already supplying this missile system to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and recently completed trials for the Indian Army. We are already manufacturing the system for IAF, while the production for the Army will commence very soon and will be delivered to them over the next two to four years,” S K Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director, BEL told Business Standard at the Aero India show, here.

He said the Army has placed an order with Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), another defence PSU based in Hyderabad. While BDL will be the main integrator for the Missile System, BEL will supply all major systems such as long range capture surveillance and capture radar, fire control radar and control systems among others.

The total order size of Akash Missile Systems from the Army placed with BdL is said to be in the order of Rs 14,000 crore.

“Our share in the total order is in the range of Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 4,000 crore, which will be delivered over the next four years”, Sharma said.

The home-grown Akash Missile System is the first indigenously-built missile system in the country by BEL. The first order worth Rs 1,200 crore was placed by IAF in 2008 and BEL delivered it successfully for two squadrons. Subsequently, the IAF placed another order for six more squadrons. The production for the same is currently progressing and BEL hopes to complete it during the current year.

Sharma said the Indian Army has already placed an order with BDL for two regiments of Akash Weapon System. BEL will be supplying all the radars, control centres, satellite data-links to BDL for integration on Army variants of Akash Weapon System.

“We have all necessary production infrastructure in place to meet the requirements for weapon systems. In addition, we are creating additional infrastructure for integration of weapon systems in Andhra Pradesh,” the BEL Chairman said.

The company will be procuring around 1,000 acres land at Lepakshi Zone in ananthpur district of Andhra Pradesh. The company is in advanced talks with the government of Andhra Pradesh for acquiring land for the proposed Greenfield plant. The investment on this plant is in the range of Rs 500 crore as part of its expansion programme for weapon systesms. The facility will be ready in the next two years, he said.

The new facility will be a specialized plant being set up for to manufacture all kinds of weapon systems such as fire control, missile systems and weapon upgrade programme among others.

Sharma also indicated that there could be more orders from the Indian Air Force for additional squadrons. However, nothing is finalized yet, he added.


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