Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) was set up in 1970 as a manufacturing base for guided weapon systems. From a its humble beginning in a rented premises of Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation (APIDC), the company today boasts of two manufacturing complexes spread over 1,300 acres located at Kanchanbagh, Hyderabad and Bhanur, Medak District in Andhra Pradesh. Its CMD, Maj Gen Ravi Khetarpal,VSM (Retd), spoke to HT on a range of issues. Excerpts:
Please explain the importance of BDL in the Indian defence industry?
BDL is the prime production agency for manufacture of all types of missiles required by the armed forces and assumes a key and strategic role in the Indian defence industry. BDL is engaged in manufacture of guided weapons and systems, which have a very significant role in defence of the nation.
How does BDL stand in comparison with global weapon equipment manufacturers?
Today BDL manufactures a variety of guided weapons. These are primarily through transfer of technology from leading overseas manufacturers. BDL also manufactures weapons and equipment developed by DRDO. Weapon equipment manufactured by BDL meets the stringent standards set by the original equipment manufacturers.
What is the future diversification plans of BDL?
With the modernisation drive of the Indian Armed Forces, I foresee that in the next few years, BDL would be rapidly expanding it's product profile. To cite a few examples, third generation ATGMs, air defence missiles and a variety of surface-to- surface missiles would be rolling out of our production lines.
While the focus has been on guided missiles, does BDL plan to diversify to other defence products?
Missiles have been our emphasis so far so ... To broad base our product profile, we have forayed into manufacturing of underwater weapon systems like torpedoes for the Indian navy, which would be another major growth engine for the company.
Can you briefly elaborate on your R&D activities?
Guided weapon systems encompass numerous technologies, which are highly sophisticated and are developing at a rapid pace. Till date, the focus of BDL has been on imbibing the relevant manufacturing technologies. However, in parallel, BDL has designed and developed some systems of these have been inducted into the Armed Forces. Presently, we are drawing up ambitious plans to rapidly enhance products primarily aimed at value addition to the core products.