BEL draws up Rs 3,000 crore expansion plan

Public sector defence major Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has drawn up a Rs 3,000 crore plan to expand capacities and modernise its facilities in line with its growth programme.

The major expansion programme include setting up of Defence Systems Integration Complex (DSIC) at Palasamudram, EO and IIR seeker manufacturing facility at Nimmaluru and land-based EW Systems at Ibrahimpatnam.

The company is in the process of acquiring land near Devanahalli, Bengaluru and Nagpur to pursue new business opportunities. The company is also looking for land to set up product support centres at various locations. The product support network is being expanded with necessary infrastructure on a pan-India basis, the company said in its latest annual report.

The DSIC at Palasamudram, in Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh, covering an area of over 900 acres, will be the largest facility in the country for manufacturing and integration of big systems for defence and paramilitary, once it is commissioned, the company said.

The facility will enable BEL to expand its Weapon Systems business and to carry out manufacturing & integration of systems and sub-systems for upcoming projects. The facility will be built in 3 to 4 phases, as various projects mature. An investment of about Rs 385 crore is planned for the first phase of the facility. Master plan of DSIC has been finalised and civil work will commence in FY 2019-20.

The Bengaluru-based company is also setting up a plant at Nimmaluru in Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh to augment the manufacturing facility for IIR seekers, Night Vision devices and Thermal Imaging cameras with an investment of about Rs 310 crore. The plant is expected to be operational in the next 2 years.

BEL has upgraded the Image Intensifier Tubes fabrication facility at BELOP-Pune based on XR-5 technology successfully with an investment of about Rs 165 crore. The production of XR-5 II Tubes from the facility has commenced with an annual capacity of about 12,500 tubes.

In order to provide excellent product services to defence customers, the defence company is expanding its product support network by setting up 10 (Ten) Regional Product Support Centres (RPSCs) across the country. These RPSCs have been planned to be located near the customer base locations. The infrastructure for the RPSCs is being set up with an investment of about Rs 365 crore.

To address the challenges in its business, the company BEL has responded to the above challenges with a positive note and has identified various measures to meet them. The measures include strengthening the technology development process through well-defined short, mid-term and long-term goals and roadmaps, increased investment in R&D.

“A three-year R&D plan is drawn every year based on the areas of developments foreseen across the company. BEL trains its engineers in the areas of development on basic, core and futuristic technologies. The company is setting up Centre of Excellence (CoE) in various areas to bring out innovation,” BEL Chairman and Managing Director M V Gowtama said.

To give further thrust on indigenisation, the company has set up an integrated Product Development Innovation Centre (PDIC) at Bengaluru. The company generated around 96% of its turnover from indigenous technology during the year 2018-19 and aims to achieve self-reliance in strategic electronics.

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