“BDL is the market leader in the field of missiles”
Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) is a public sector undertaking, which was established in the year 1970. This company manufactures defence equipment. Its products are used by all three forces of the country, land, water and air. Uday India News Editor Anshuman Anand interviewed BDL Chairman Siddharth Mishra, in which he explained in details about the future plans of Bharat Dynamics Limited.
Your company manufactures weapons for all three forces, i.e. Air Force, Navy and Army. Which products do you make and how big is your contribution in the security of the country?
We make weapons for all three forces, Army, Navy, Air Force. I tell you about the Akash missile, which is made by BDL. This missile is an air defence system. This is a very successful defence system. The demand for this weapon is not only in India but also abroad. To export this weapon to many countries, talks with our company have reached far ahead. We are preparing to export this weapon, in which we hope to get success soon.
Your Akash Air Defence System strikes from earth to sky. Now tell us about your other products?
Second is our Astra Weapon System. It is an air-to-air missile. Its firepower is 110 kilometers. It is fitted on Sukhoi-30 aircraft, on which its capability has been proved. After this, the other missile is SAAW (Smart Anti Air Weapon). We have also installed this on Sukhoi-30. Now we are preparing to install it on MiG-29. Along with this, this system is also being installed on Hawk. Many countries of the world have shown interest in SAAW. We are also preparing to integrate this on the aircraft of other countries, i.e. Rafale of French company Dassault, Gripen of Sweden, Sukhoi-30 of Russia. When the work of integrating our SAAW with the aircraft of other countries is completed, then any country that buys these aircraft may have to take our SAAW along with it. In this way, we are opening a huge opportunity and market to export this missile system.
Dassault is a French company, Gripen is Swedish while Sukhoi is a Russian aircraft. How is it that your missiles are getting appropriately fitted on the aircraft of every country?
We have designed our missile system in such a way that it fits on any aircraft. Weapon system is a very important part of any aircraft. If we give a very good quality product to someone at a lower price, then it benefits them a lot . That’s why everyone is showing interest in our products. Missiles like ours are very few in the international market. Their prices are about 20 to 30 per cent lower than those in the international market. That is why they prove to be a very good system for foreign aircraft as well and many foreign companies are showing more interest in them.
Narendra Modi has raised the bugle of self-reliant India and he has set a target that in the next coming year, the country will increase defence production and exports manifold. How much contribution do you see from BDL in this?
If seen in the field of missiles, then in the next 5 to 6 years, almost all types of missiles will start being made in India. Air-to-air missile, anti-tank-guided missile, surface-to-surface missile, ground-to-air missile will be made by BDL. We are pleased to say that BDL is the market leader. Not only in India, we have established BDL in a very good condition on the platform of the world. Wherever we go, people show a lot of interest in our products. This is because our quality is top class and our prices are also not very high. BDL’s products are very good and their prices are also very good. These are two very important characteristics to establish any weapon system in the market. If both these things are present in a product, then the buyers will definitely show interest in it.
Research and development is a very important part of making any defence product. How much budget have you kept for research and development and what kind of products are you planning to make in future?
We have the Amogh missile, which is of the third generation. It is an anti-tank-guided missile. This we have developed through our internal research and development. We have completed many flight trials of this missile. We are currently preparing for the user trial. This missile will be completely ready in a few months. Till now we have been working with DRDO. But now we have started our own research and development. Our budget for research, which was 2 per cent to 3 per cent of the total PAT, we want to increase it to 7 per cent to 8 per cent. This will increase the research and development budget of BDL, which will result in furthering new products. Our new patents will also increase. In the past few years, we have acquired many new patents and copyrights like this Amogh-3. Similarly, in this year’s aero show, we are launching three different types of missiles. One of these is the Sail Sikar missile, which has a range of 4 km. We are also launching VLSR, which hits in the air from the ground. This is for sea vessels. The third is Jishnu, which can be operated from a drone.
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