Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), a Navratna defence public sector unit, has opened a new software development centre (SDC) in the port city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. The Visakhapatnam SDC, inaugurated by Vinay Kumar Katyal, director (Bangalore Complex), will be an extension of BEL's software strategic business unit (SBU) and offers software-as-a-service for various applications in defence and non-defence domains.

"The software division of BEL has successfully implemented many projects of national importance in the fields of defence, aerospace, e-governance, homeland security, etc, over the last many decades," a statement issued by BEL said on Friday.

Powered by cutting edge technology and secure IT infrastructure to cater to critical applications, the Vizag centre will enable BEL to extend value added software services during the lifecycle of several naval platforms.

Further, it may also team up with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to take up software intensive joint development projects, including offering software solutions for smart city and homeland security needs, it said.

As many as 150 engineers will man the Vizag centre.

Setup in 1954, BEL has been envisaged to make the country self-reliant on defence electronics. Over the years, BEL has transformed into a multi-product, multi-technology and a multi-unit conglomerate.

It designs, manufactures and supplies radars, missile systems, military communications, naval systems, electronic warfare and avionics, C4I, electro-optics and several other top notch technologies.