Munitions India Witnesses Surge in Export Orders

Defence Industry

Coimbatore: The products of Pune-headquartered company, Munitions India Ltd (MIL) are in great demand abroad. According to the company, it has export orders worth Rs 6,000 crore, to be supplied over the next three years.

Munitions India Limited, formed in November 2021 after the reorganisation of the Ordnance Factory Board into seven Defence PSUs, produces bullets, shells, mortars, rockets and hand grenades at its 12 manufacturing units.

Participating in the ‘International Engineering Sourcing Show’ organised in Coimbatore by the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC), Chief General Manager – High Energy Projectile Factory, MIL, Gnaneshwar Tyagi speaking to a media outlet said,  “Every country needs ammunition.” Among the leading overseas customers are the UAE, Vietnam and “one European country”, he added.

The outreach programme ‘International Engineering Sourcing Show’ organised by the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) aims to sensitise MSMEs about the possibility of supplying to the Defence.

S. Unni Raj, Joint Director, Export Promotion Cell, Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence said, “They (MIL) are sitting on a gold mine.” He said India’s exports of defence products would cross Rs 20,000 crore in 2023-24 to touch Rs 25,000 crore in 2024-25, and Rs 35,000 crore in the following year.

India’s defence exports in 2013 were Rs 1,050 crore, Dr Sanjeev Kumar Joshi, Deputy CEO, BrahMos Aerospace showed in his presentation. Present at the EEPC meet, Joshi in his interaction with a media outlet told that India’s BRAHMOS missiles were in demand all over the world. It was the only cruise missile that was supersonic throughout its flight; others have sub-sonic durations, when they can be intercepted.

Countries in the MENA region, Latin America and South-East Asia have shown interest in buying the BRAHMOS missile, while the Philippines has been in the news lately as a buyer of BRAHMOS missiles.

India’s imports-to-exports ratio for defence products has fallen in past few years. Imports increased from Rs 41,198 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 50,061 crore in 2021-22, but exports rose from Rs 1,153 crore to Rs 12,815 crore, in the same period. In 2013-14, imports were 35 times exports; in comparison, imports were 4 times exports in 2021-22.

MIL would start producing the 125-mm ‘mango’ tank shells, which are capable of piercing a 600mm thick tank skin, said Gnaneshwar Tyagi. The Mango shells are produced in India under licence from Russian armament major Techmash. MIL would produce 6,000 units at its plant in Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu, he said. MIL was a major procurer of materials from MSMEs — last year it bought Rs 1,000 crore worth of material from 2,000 MSMEs. The Mango tank shells would need Rs 150 crore worth of MSME material, he added.

According to Tyagi, MIL is expected to touch Rs 7,000 crore in the current financial year. It achieved a turnover of Rs 4,200 crore in 2022-23. MIL is targeting turnover of Rs 10,000 crore in the next financial year.