Akash, surface-to-air missile, manufactured by BDL to meet the requirement of armed forces

With missile orders worth ₹8,000 cr., BDL making great strides. We plan to make third-generation missiles soon, says CMD Siddharth Mishra

The Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), celebrating its golden jubilee this year, has orders worth ₹8,000 crore for making various missiles for the armed forces to be delivered within the next five years. This order is expected to reach up to ₹25,000 crore in the next four-five years even as it ramps up the production of next-generation missiles.

Working under the Ministry of Defence, the BDL has also entered into a pact with IIIT-Hyderabad for making use of artificial intelligence in the development of systems and products. Further, it would be tying up with T-Hub for developing an Eco-system for start-ups to solve problems through hackathons, said chairman and managing director Commodore Siddharth Mishra (Retd) on Tuesday.

More Exports

Addressing a press conference on the institute premises at Kanchanbagh, Mr. Mishra said the BDL has also begun exports and has just completed the first consignment of missiles to a “friendly country”, with more orders in the pipeline. It was game for more exports depending on the demand and permissions obtained from the Government of India.

Established this day in 1970 as a manufacturing base of guided missiles and allied defence equipment to meet the Indian armed forces’ requirement, it began work with Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) SS11B1 under technical collaboration with Aerospatiale of France. It now works in partnership with the DRDO and armed forces in making the latest missile systems.

The company currently makes ATGMs, Akash surface-to-air missiles, torpedoes, seeker-based multi-role air defence missile or the MRSAM – medium-range surface-to-air missile – being jointly developed by the DRDO, IAI (Israel) and others.

It has also been in the process of collaborating with various original equipment manufacturers for technology transfers for next-generation missiles. A pact with British Thales is already through for ‘Starstreak missiles’. “We are now making second-generation missiles and plan to go for third-generation ones soon. The international market has players making fourth and fifth-generation missiles,” admitted Commodore Mishra, candidly.

A listed firm in Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE), the BDL had a turnover of ₹4,586 crore in 2017-18 up from ₹3,069 crore the previous year. It is to spend ₹90 crore to improve infrastructure facilities here at Ibrahimpatnam and another ₹300 crore once the orders start coming for a new facility at Amravati in Maharashtra. The BDL has a third manufacturing unit, an exclusive naval unit, in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh where it manufactures torpedoes and other underwater weaponry for the Indian Navy.

Commodore Mishra added that the BDL would soon unveil a statue of former President APJ Abdul Kalam near the front gate of the Kanchanbagh unit to commemorate his vision for the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, which gave a lot of opportunities to develop its skilled manpower and invest in high-end technology to make various types of missiles as it was the prime production agency.