Public Sector Bharat Dynamics Ltd inks contract with Defence Ministry to make French-origin anti-tank guided missile for army

Published : March 22, 2021 13:50 IST

The Akash weapon system, which is among the missiles and underwater weapons that BDL manufactures in collaboration with the DRDO for the Indian armed forces. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

The Defence Ministry has inked a Rs.1,188 crore contract with Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL), defence public sector enterprise (DPSE), for the manufacture and supply of the French origin MILAN-2T Anti-Tank Guided Missiles. The deal, signed on March 19, will entail the BDL, the manufacturing base for guided missile systems and allied equipment for the Indian armed forces, supplying 4,960 Milan-2T anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) to the Indian Army.

BDL, since its inception in 1970, has been working in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation for the manufacture and supply of various types of missiles and underwater weapons, including the Akash weapon system, a surface-to-air indigenous missile.

The Milan-2T ATGM, produced under licence from MBDA Missile Systems, France, by BDL is a man-portable (Infantry) second-generation ATGM, which boasts the ability to destroy battle tanks fitted with explosive reactive armour, and moving and stationary targets. It is a tandem warhead ATGM that has a range of around 1,850 metres. The missiles can be fired from the ground and from vehicle-based launchers. The Milan system was developed for the French and German armies, and over 360,000 missiles and 10,000 launch units have been produced since 1972. The ATGM is in service in 41 countries.

Commenting on the Rs.1,188 crore contract, a Defence Ministry spokesperson said: “This will further boost the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the government. It is a ‘repeat order’ of contract which was signed with BDL on March 8, 2016.” The contract was signed by the Joint Secretary (AM & LS) Dipti Mohil Chawla, on behalf of the Defence Ministry’s Acquisition Wing, and Executive Director (Marketing) Commodore T.N. Kaul (retd), on behalf of BDL.

“These missiles can be fired from ground as well as vehicle-based launchers and can be deployed in anti-tank role for both offensive & defensive tasks. The induction of these missiles, planned to be completed in three years, will further enhance the operational preparedness of the armed forces, said the Defence Ministry spokesperson.

BDL Chairman and Managing Director Commodore Siddharth Mishra (Retd) stated that receipt of the order had given a timely boost to the existing order book of the company. The current order book position, inclusive of the present order, totals over Rs.9,000 crore. Mishra added that the order was in line with the government’s initiative for creation of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in the defence sector, with not only many items having been earmarked exclusively for manufacture by Indian industry, but a negative list of imports also being released by the Ministry. According to officials from the company, several of BDL’s products, such as short-range surface to air missile and Astra air-to-air weapon system, are already covered under this negative list, with a few more products of the company expected to be brought into subsequent lists that will be released by the MoD.

BDL which has evolved into one of the few industries in the world equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for manufacture and supply of guided missiles, underwater weapons, air-borne products and allied defence equipment for the Indian armed forces, has four manufacturing units, three in Telangana (Hyderabad, Bhanur and Ibrahimpatnam) and one in Andhra Pradesh (Visakhapatnam). As a part of its expansion plans, BDL is setting up a unit at Amravati in Maharashtra. Over the years BDL has graduated from being a missile manufacturer to a weapon system integrator and has emerged as a complete solution provider for the armed forces.

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