HENSOLDT is a leading provider of high-tech defence and security solutions including radar, optronics and electronic warfare products. For decades, HENSOLDT has been supporting the Indian Armed Forces through different entitites and Indian partners. In a freewheeling conversation with Raksha Anirveda, the Managing Director of HENSOLDT Private Limited, India – Andleeb Shadman discussed at length the current role and plans of HENSOLDT in India. Excerpts….
RA: Kindly provide insights into the key business areas of HENSOLDT and its footprint in India?
Andleeb: HENSOLDT is a leading company in the global defence industry with its HQ at Taufkirchen near Munich. The company develops complete sensor solutions for defence and security applications. As a technology leader, HENSOLDT drives the development of defence electronics and optronics and is continuously expanding its portfolio based on innovative approaches to data management, robotics and cyber security. With more than 6,400 employees, HENSOLDT achieved a turnover of 1.5 billion euros in 2021. Though the name HENSOLDT is new, the company has a rich heritage that dates back several decades. Over the years, Hensoldt has evolved through various mergers and acquisitions, bringing together a diverse range of expertise and capabilities.
HENSOLDT has almost two decades long history of supporting “Make in India”. We have been collaborating with the Indian MoD, DPSUs and MSMEs to provide state of the art indigenous sensors for Indian platforms.
RA: How HENSOLDT is contributing to the growth of the industry in India aligned to its current focus?
Andleeb: We believe that the Indian armed force has been undergoing rapid technological transformation to meet the ever expanding need of battle field superiority. We are sanguine and committed to the national vision of ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in Indian Defence sector. Our business plans are built on Transfer of Technology, Local Production and Joint development based industrial collaborations.
We have gone much beyond tradional Built-to-Print (BtP) manufacturing and have offered unique & pioneering industrial collaboration model for specific products to Indian DPSUs and MSME such as:
a. Transferring the design and manufacturing to India including IPRs
b. Co-development of the Products with several Indian IPRs for Indian and world market
c. Indigenous manufacturing content upto 60%
RA: What products are being offered to the Indian market by HENSOLDT?
Andleeb: We are currently maturing our industrial partnership network to offer the following indigeneous products to Indian Customers:
1. Obstacle Aviodence Systems consisting of LiDAR Sensor and Pilot assistance system for Degraded Visual Environment conditions
2. Self Protection Systems for Helicopters and Fixed wings consisting of Missile Warning System, Laser Warning System and Fully Diital Radar Warning Receiver with Artifical Intelligence inside.
3. ISR Sensors suite for MALE and Fixed Wing Mission Aircrafts consist of Mission Management Systems, Multifunction ISR/SAR Radar, ESM/ELINT system (0.5 – 40GHz), Electo-optics Systems and Datalinks (Both LoS and Multipoint). The Integrated Airborne Sensor suite is highly customizable with respect to desired CONOPS to meet various mission needs.
4. Integrated EW System for Plains, Deserts and Mountains Light Vehicle
5. ‘Periscope & OMS (Optronics Mast System)’ for submarines
6. Counter UAV system
7. Infantory Combat Vehicle Protection and Situational Awareness
RA: What innovative technologies and products HENSOLDT has developed in recent years?
Andleeb: As a high-tech company with a global brand, innovation is intrinsic to HENSOLDT’s DNA. Accordingly, the company has invested significantly in research and development in recent years and supports in-house innovation. Through the development of ground-breaking key technology, HENSOLDT helps to protect soldiers, security personnel and critical infrastructure. HENSOLDT’s main areas of activity include intelligence and reconnaissance sensors, solutions for controlling the electromagnetic spectrum and mission avionics systems. The company combines various mission-critical sensor technologies to create package solutions that allow detection Capabilities to be substantially improved through sensor and data fusion. In this way, HENSOLDT helps to avert threats to armed forces and society. The company drives their development in its competence centres at its main sites in Germany, France, the UK and South Africa. With its proven expertise, HENSOLDT plays a substantial role in multinational future-oriented projects, such as the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) and Maritime Airborne Warfare System (MAWS). HENSOLDT is also very successful at turning innovative ideas into market-ready products, such as the Xpeller counter-UAV system and the Twinvis passive radar.
RA: Tell us about HENSOLDT’s collaboration and partnerships approach worldwide and in India.
Andleeb: Collaboration and partnerships are a key aspect of HENSOLDT’s business strategy. The company works closely with customers, suppliers, and other organizations in the aerospace and defence sector to develop integrated solutions that meet the needs of the market. To re-iterate, HENSOLDT is fully committed to the vision of ‘Make in India’ and at present we are working closely with various DPSUs and Private Indian companies through collaboration and knowledge sharing.
RA: How the future of the aerospace and defence industry will evolve in the next 5-10 years? Your views and how HENSOLDT is positioning itself to take advantage of these changes?
Andleeb: The future of the aerospace and defence industry is likely to be shaped by a number of trends, including the increasing use of unmanned systems, innovative ways of spectrum dominance, increased network centricity and the growth of the commercial space industry. HENSOLDT is well-positioned to take advantage of these changes by continuing to invest in research and development, building strong partnerships, and delivering innovative solutions to its customers.