New Delhi: Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has signed an MoU with Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) in Lucknow for setting up a unit in the UP Defence Corridor. As per the MoU, BDL will acquire 215 acres of land in Jhansi under a lease agreement for an initial period of 30 years, which will be extendable up to 90 years. BDL is the only Defence PSU in the country manufacturing missiles and underwater weapons for the armed forces.
Speaking on the occasion, Commodore Mishra stated that a new facility will be set up at this location to manufacture a propulsion system that will be used for various types of missiles manufactured by the company. This is an important step towards the backward integration plan being implemented to further strengthen the capability to deliver world-class weapon systems to customers. He expressed his gratitude to UPEIDA and the government of Uttar Pradesh for facilitating investors to set up industries in the UP Defence Corridor through its simplified policies. He said BDL is planning to commence operations at this facility by 2023, which would create employment opportunities in the area. It is expected that MSMEs as ancillary units will also be established, once the BDL unit is set up.
BDL, as per its expansion plan, is setting up units in various parts of the country. Presently, BDL has three manufacturing units, out of which two are located in Telangana state and one in Andhra Pradesh. Further, BDL is in the process of setting up manufacturing facilities at Amravati in Maharashtra and Ibrahimpatnam in Telangana. The upcoming facility at Jhansi will be the sixth one and the first in northern India.
Keeping pace with the current trends in the global defence industry, BDL is investing in acquiring futuristic technologies in the field of missiles, underwater weapons and airborne products to meet the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. In pursuit of this, the company is collaborating with leading major foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers like Naval Group, France, Rafael Advanced Defence System Ltd Israel, Thales, UK, STE “SPETSTECHNOEXPORT,” Ukraine, MBDA, France/UK for various missile and underwater weapon programmes.
The new initiatives of the government of being ‘Vocal for Local’ and ‘Make in India, Made for the World’ have opened up a lot of opportunities for Indian defence companies like BDL. The ‘ease of doing business’ ecosystem has simplified export authorisations and the thrust on export is helping industries to expand their footprints in the global market. The company has already exported Light Weight Torpedoes and is poised to export other products in its portfolio like the Akash Surface to Air missile, Counter Measure Systems and Anti-Tank Guided Missiles.
BDL is constantly upgrading its manufacturing technologies and processes to state-of-the-art industry 4.0, Robotics operated workshops, the latest Surface Mounted Devices assembly lines etc. to take forward government’s initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and the creation of an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. The company is also extending its technical support to its vendors by providing test facilities available with BDL. The procedures have been simplified to encourage active participation of ‘start ups’. BDL is also planning to establish a facility in the UP Corridor for testing requirements under the ‘Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme’ of the Ministry of Defence.
BDL is increasing its in-house R&D activities complementing the development programmes of DRDO to expand its product range and mitigate dependence on foreign companies for imports. The company has also started undertaking the development of Artificial Intelligence-based products to offer the latest weapons to the Indian Armed Forces.