Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) is setting up a Defence Systems Integration Complex at Palasamudram, Gorantala Mandal, in Anantapuramu district of Andhra Pradesh. It will be the largest such facility in the country once it is commissioned, covering an area of over 900 acres. The Raksha Mantri, Manohar Parrikar, laid the foundation stone for this facility on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, in the august presence of N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister for Urban Development n Parliamentary Affairs, P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry and Y S Chowdary, Minister of State for Science n Technology.
S K Sharma, Chairman Managing Director, BEL, said: “We at BEL have been continuously investing in modernization and creation of special infrastructure to cater for emerging defence business opportunities. The upcoming facility at Palasamudram is one such initiative. We are also strengthening our infrastructure in areas like Night Vision technologies and elements of Multifunction Radars. Various new Surface to Air Missile (SAM) programmes are proposed to be taken up by BEL, viz, Quick Reaction SAM , Long Range SAM, Medium Range SAM, etc, in addition to Network Centric Communication and Electronic Warfare systems.’’
BEL CMD added, “To achieve self-reliance in defence, there is need for a very strong indigenous RnD. In this direction, BEL has not only maintained a consistent policy of RnD investments but also has launched collaborative RnD with private SME firms in the country. On an average, 80% of BEL’s Sales turnover is from indigenous RnD every year. BEL has now launched a Product Development n Innovation Centre at Bangalore to give further thrust towards indigenous RnD.”
As part of diversification and business growth, BEL is looking towards major expansion into New Generation SAM systems, High end Image Intensifier Tubes and Thermal Imaging detectors for Night Vision Devices, Inertial Navigation Systems, Electronic Ammunition Fuses, Air Traffic Management Radars, Intelligent Traffic Management Systems and Solar Power Plants.
BEL is currently manufacturing the Akash Missile Systems (AMS) for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army. The Akash Missile System is a supersonic, short-range surface-to-air missile system designed and developed by DRDO, with the capability to engage a wide variety of aerial threats like aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. BEL is the lead integrator of the Akash Missile System for the Indian Air Force and supplies the Radars, Control Centres, Simulators, associated maintenance vehicles and the integrated software.
Testing and integration of missile systems involves actual deployment of Air Surveillance Radars, Fire Control Radars, Control Centers, Missile Launchers and other support systems to validate the detection, tracking, command and communication link parameters. Multiple groups of the equipment have to be positioned at suitable spacing over a large area to simulate field conditions. The upcoming facility will cater to these requirements. At present, BEL carries out its missile manufacturing and integration activities and system level checks at its Bangalore Unit. In order to cater to the large requirements of futuristic Surface to Air Missile systems, missiles and associated electronic sub-systems n components, BEL is setting up this facility in Andhra Pradesh.