Bangalore: With the global geopolitics changing, India will emerge as the hub for defence manufacturing and exports, especially when it comes to artillery guns, protected and specialised vehicles, Amit Kalyani, Deputy Managing Director at Bharat Forge, part of Kalyani Group said.

Speaking to ThePrint on the sidelines of Aero India, Kalyani, the scion of the Kalyani Group which is betting big on defence, said his company has an export order of about Rs 2,000 crore, a figure that will grow as global companies see and trust the work done by private Indian defence firms.

“We are focused on three areas. One is artillery gun and artillery systems, second is on protected and speciality vehicles, third is components and subsystems, spares and consumables going into multiple areas,” Kalyani said.

Incidentally, while the Kalyani Group has come out with five different artillery systems, they are yet to get an order from the Army here. However, they managed to get an order for their 155mm 39-calibre mounted artillery system from Armenia.

“We are a global company. Yes, we had hoped that the first order would come from India but it is good we got orders from somewhere. Indian orders will follow,” said Kalyani.

“We tick every box required for Indian orders — performance, quality, production rate. Nobody can do production at the rate which we can,” he said.

The big artillery project that the group is eyeing is the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), that has being made jointly with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

However, the order is still elusive even though ATAGS, which was also used for ceremonial firing during Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort last year, has cleared several rounds of trials and the system has been tweaked multiple times as per Army’s requirements.

Asked if Army’s latest Request for Information (RFI) for 155mm/52 calibre towed gun with a weight specification of less than 15 tonnes was a dampener for the Group since ATAGS weigh around 19 tonnes, he said, “We always have products that go right from 7 tonnes to 10, 11 to 14 tonnes. We have five platforms besides the ATAGS. So we will not have any problem fielding any of these guns for the RFIs issued.”