The BDL recently signed the largest-ever contract with the Indian Army for Akash surface-to-air missiles. "We are now in discussions with the Indian Armed Forces and original equipment manufacturers for production of third generation anti-tank guided missiles and air defence missiles of different ranges," said Major General Ravi
Khetarpal, chairman and managing director of BDL.
Anti-tank guided missiles are used for targeting heavily armoured military tanks and they provide an added advantage to the forces. Laser, electro-optical imager seeker or W band radar seeker technology is used in the third generation anti-tank guided missiles.
They are so precise in their target that once fired they will surely hit the target. The Army need to just "fire and forget" and third generation missiles will destroy the target.
BDL is the prime production agency for manufacture of anti-tank guided missiles. The company also manufactures surface-to-air missiles for the Armed Forces and decoys for the Indian Air Force. "The Indian Navy has also placed orders for torpedoes and counter measure systems. BDL has already set up its third manufacturing unit at
equipment," Major General Khetarpal said.
BDL has no significant research and development of its own, but based on current thrust towards indigenisation and R&D, it has developed a few test equipment for anti-tank guided missiles and modified vintage ATGM launchers. "BDL has also developed a
counter measure dispensing system (CMDS) for a variety of aircraft," he pointed out.
The Akash surface-to-air missile has a range of 25 km. With its low reaction time of just 15 seconds, it can shoot down aircraft, helicopters and UAVs travelling at speeds up to 700 metres per second. The weapon system is capable of engaging targets in all
weather conditions. The armed forces are looking at these missiles for close defence of its installations from all types of aerial attacks.
According to Major General Khetarpal, a number of surface-to-air missile programmes like short range, medium range and long range SAMs are in the offing and BDL is gearing to manufacture these weapons by setting up of new facilities. The recent contract with the Indian Army was worth Rs 14,000 crore, the highest value contract
placed by the Army so far.