Hyderabad: Making its presence felt in missile production, Bharat Dynamics Limited will now set up a surface-to-air missile manufacturing unit at Ibrahim-patnam.
With this, AP has now become the missile capital of India, with BDL having three more manufacturing units in the state. BDL has definitely come a long way, from making the first generation anti-tank guided missiles to second generation ATGMs and Milans. It had taken up Russian Konkurs and now, surface-to-air missiles. A BDL official disclosed that the Ibrahimpatnam unit, which would be BDL’s fourth manufacturing unit in the state, would be set up at a cost of Rs2,500 crore.
The surface-to-air missile defence project will be esta-blished in an area of about 630 acres. This is among the few industries that has the capacity to manufacture state-of-the-art guided wea-pon systems. Its main asset is a pool of engineers drawn from Defence Research and Development Organisation and aerospace industries. Operations in Ibrahim-patnam unit shall start by 2017.
Officials further said that BDL shall manufacture 15,000 Invar guided missiles under licence as a part of Transfer Of Technology agreement, while another 10,000 Invar missiles shall be purchased directly from Russian producers. The Invar anti-tank guided missile is a derivative of NATO AT-11B Sniper. The gun-launched Invar missiles shall be deployed on T-90 main battle tanks of the Army and are fired from the 125 mm barrel of a gun.
BDL, the prime production agency for missiles, started its operations with the production of the first generation anti-tank guided missile — the French SS11B1, under a licence agreement with Aerospatiale in that country. Following this, BDL got into production of second generation ATGMs — the French Milan-2 and the Russian Konkurs. These projects were taken up for licence production with technical collaboration from M/s Euromissile, France and M/s KBP, Russia respectively.