One of its two new production facilities coming up at Kanchanbagh

Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI), the specialised metals and metal alloys manufacturing public sector undertaking under Ministry of Defence, is getting ready to fully commission two new production facilities, including the ₹550-crore special steel, titanium and nickel alloy sheet and plate-making plant at Kanchanbagh here.

In the second ₹60-crore plant at Rohtak (Haryana), it will be making a maiden foray into making bullet-proof vests and armoured personal vehicles for the armed forces, disclosed chairman and managing director S.K. Jha on Friday.

“Both facilities will be commissioned in the next few months. In fact, even as the Rohtak plant is under construction, we have delivered about 20 armoured vehicles for BSF on an urgent request in view of the face-off at the China border,” he said, in an exclusive interaction.

The PSU is assuring armour bullet-proof plating or even mine-proof without affecting the overall vehicle performance for any chassis sourced by the end user with capacity to make up to 25-30 vehicles a year. After scouting for a technology partner in vain, it has taken the support of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) for bullet-proof vests to make 30,000 units annually, to be scaled to 50,000 units.

“Demand is for one lakh bullet-proof vests in the country. Though in defence area, this is a complete diversification. We are going to harp on good quality and reliability to the end user,” said Dr. Jha, who took charge last May.

It was able to meet COVID pandemic challenges ensuring there was no slack in production, in commissioning ‘unique’ projects to meet the needs of strategic sectors like defence, aerospace and nuclear power even while strengthening indigenous efforts as part of ‘Atmanirbhar’ policy.

Last year’s lockdown did cause some loss and decline in sales in the first quarter but the period also enabled the personnel to come up with innovative solutions towards production of high grade alloys and composite material. Vaccination for entire staff and safety protocols are in place, he said.

MIDHANI has supplied steel and cobalt alloy material to ISRO human flight ‘Gaganyaan’ mission, titanium alloy metal for HAL-AMCA (Advanced Multi-Combat Aircraft) and light weight nickel-titanium engine for the unmanned aerial vehicles engine in collaboration with DRDO.

Other ‘novel’ works were in production of indigenous RHA steel used for missiles development replacing expensive imported substitute, special impeller blades for uranium mining replacing German-made with the first assembly set to be tried out at Kadapa mines and steam generators, earlier imported from Europe, for new nuclear plants in association with NFC for BHEL.

New defence procurement policy with mandatory clause of sourcing for special metals from within the country augers well for the firm. MIDHANI is aiming to double turnover of current ₹800 crore within the next five years with 15-20% growth, even as the third greenfield project of developing composite material with HAL (Tumkur near Bangalore), could take off with detailed project report under preparation, added the CMD.