Electronics for Defence

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Anil Kumar, CMD, Bharat Electronics Ltd

Anil Kumar CMD, Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) “BEL has implemented many successful projects for e-Governance in the telecom and DTH sectors,” says Anil Kumar, CMD, Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) in conversation with Nayana Singh Electronics for Defence“BEL has implemented many successful projects for e-Governance in the telecom and DTH sectors,” says Anil Kumar, CMD, Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) in conversation with Nayana Singh

Anil Kumar
CMD, Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL)

Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) is present in many different areas of business. What are your strategies for maintaining the profitability of all these areas? What is your vision for BEL?

BEL’s vision is to become a world-class enterprise in professional electronics and its mission is to become a customer-focussed, globally competitive company in Defence Electronics and in other chosen areas of Professional Electronics, through Quality, Technology and Innovation. BEL is aspiring to rich a turnover of `25,000 crore by 2020. Radars, Missile Systems, Night Vision Devices, Homeland Security, Electronic Warfare and Avionics will be the main growth drivers. I would like BEL to concentrate on high-tech areas  like RF Super-components, Space Electronics and Weapon Systems. Our main business is defence and I want to see our share in the defence market expand. Strong impetus will be given to R&D, marketing, quality and product support. Any business is a risk but decisions must be taken in a time-bound manner. In the long run we should create such robust products, which do not require support at all. For filling technology gaps, I prefer the ToT route to Joint Ventures as JVs take time to set up.

It is in primarily in the field of defence that Bharat Electronics is playing a most stellar role. Provide us with an overview of your scale of operations in defence.

Set up in Bangalore in 1954 under the Ministry of Defence, BEL has grown into India’s foremost defence electronics company. We are now a multiproduct, multi-technology, multi-unit conglomerate with over 350 products in the areas of Military Communication, Radars, Naval Systems, C4I Systems, Weapon Systems, Electronic Warfare, Tank Electronics and Electro Optics. BEL also provides turnkey system solutions.

Land based radars from BEL include Surveillance Radars, Tracking Radars, Fire Control Radars and Secondary Surveillance Radars. Weapon Systems include Akash, Upgraded Schilka, Long Range Surface to Air Missile, Medium Range Surface to Air Missile, Short Range Surface to Air Missile and NAMICA. Military Communication equipment include Tactical Radios, Radio Relays, Military Switching & Networks, Tactical Communication System and Encryption Products. Naval Systems offered by BEL include Radar Systems, Sonar Systems, Fire Control Systems and Communication Systems. Electronic Warfare & Avionics products include ELINT / COMINT / SIGINT Systems, RWR / ESM / ECM Systems, Integrated & Networked EW Systems, Digital Flight Control Computers and Avionic Systems. Electro-Optic products include Laser Range Finders, Night Vision Devices, Gap Measuring Devices, Sighting Systems and Integrated Observation Equipment.

BEL offers state-of-the-art C4I Systems for Army, Navy and Air Force such as Artillery Combat Management Systems, Air Defence Combat Management Systems, Naval Combat Management Systems, Battlefield Surveillance and Management Systems, Coastal Surveillance Systems and Decision Support Systems. Tank Electronics offered by BEL include Weapon Stabilisers, Drive Systems for Guns, Fire Control Systems, Land Navigation System, Vehicle Intercom System, NBC Protection System and Fire Detection and Suppression System.

BEL’s customers include the Army, Navy, Air Force, Paramilitary, Coast Guard, Police, Doordarshan, All India Radio, Department of Telecommunications and consumers of professional electronic components. Nearly 73 percent of the company’s annual sales turnover gets accrued from products sold to the Defence Services.

BEL maintains technological leadership with its in-house R&D and in association with DRDO labs. In 2011-12, the company spent over 7 percent of its turnover on R&D, which paid rich dividends. About 81 percent of BEL’s turnover in 2011-12 got accrued from products using indigenous technology. Some of the prominent R&D programmes in the pipeline are the Tactical Communication System (TCS), Battle Field Management System and Future Infantry Soldier As System (FINSAS). This year the Company will work on many strategically important projects in the areas of Weapon Systems, Electronic Warfare Systems, Shipborne Systems, Network Centric Systems, Night Vision Devices, Satcom and Communication Systems.

Bharat Electronics has developed a Tablet PC. Please tell us about it.

BEL has designed and manufactured a Tablet PC for the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) for use in enumeration for the Socio- Economic & Caste Census. When the MoRD was mandated for a nationwide survey for identifying the Below Poverty Line families, BEL took the task of providing affordable computing platform for collecting the data digitally. The enumeration is being done across the length and breadth of India, covering all the inhabited villages, towns including small hamlets.

Tell us about the solutions that Bharat Electronics has developed for Environmental Management.

BEL has been maintaining a clean and green environment at all its nine Units, which are ISO 14001 certified. Clean surroundings, green environment, clean technology, stringent pollution control measures, waste water treatment, zero effluent discharge, rainwater harvesting, energy conservation, water conservation, systematic management and disposal of hazardous and other forms of wastes and several other endeavours have become a part of the well-established Environmental Management System. Bangalore Complex and Ghaziabad Unit are certified for OHSAS 18001: 2007.

For new buildings, the Green Building Concept is introduced at the design stage itself with natural light harvesting; wind-powered roof extractors for internal cooling; PUF-insulated roofing sheets to reduce the heat load; orientation of buildings to avoid heat loss due to direct sunlight; variable refrigerant volume system to optimize air conditioning; Integrated Building Management System (IBMS); Lighting Management System with energy-efficient lighting; and solar power on rooftop. The centrifugal chiller used for air conditioning at the Bangalore factory has been replaced with an energy efficient screw chiller. There are 280 street lights inside the Bangalore factory, which use 150W and 250W lamps. 76 of the 250W streetlights have been replaced with 70W LED street lights over the past two years, leading to a drastic reduction in the energy consumed for factory street lighting.

You are also generating Wind Energy.

That’s right. Generation of wind energy through two Wind Energy Power Plants at Davanagere (2.5MW) and Hassan (3 MW) has resulted in 104.6 lakh units of energy wheeled during 2011-12, resulting in a reduction of Rs.74 lakhs in the energy bill and an equivalent reduction of 9,728.66 tons of CO2 emission. It is proposed to set up another Wind Energy Power Plant with a capacity of 10 MW during 2012-13, with an expected generation of 80 lakh units of energy per annum. Also, BEL is establishing grid interactive Solar Power of 30 Kilo Watt at the New Management Building near the Bangalore factory. The Solar Power System was developed by BEL.

BEL has implemented many successful projects for e-Governance in the telecom and DTH sectors. Here is a glimpse:

POLNET: BEL has implemented this network to connect police stations all over India to state and district headquarters. In all, about 11,000 police stations are connected to 850 district headquarters and 45 state headquarters. The system uses VSAT-based MART (Multi Access Rural Terminal) technology to connect the police stations to headquarters. The police stations have voice communication facilities, the district headquarters have voice and data connectivity and the state headquarters have video, voice and data connectivity using satellites.
APNET: Implemented for AP Technology Services, a Government of Andhra Pradesh enterprise, this network system consists of 1,800 VSAT-based terminals. The system is used for telemedicine, distance education and e-governance. The system was implemented on a Build, Own, Operate, Transfer (BOOT) model.
EDUSAT: This satellite based distance education system uses ISRO’s Educational Satellite EDUSAT to interconnect 2,500 schools and training institutes. These are connected to 14 hubs where the teachers and instructors can directly interact with students at the school level using voice and video transmission.

DTH Set Top Box: These are satellite receivers meant for receiving DTH transmission of Doordarshan. Various educational and entertainment channels can be received using these receivers.
Disaster Warning Dissemination System: Developed along with ISRO, this system is used by Indian  Meteorological Department (IMD) to transmit warnings to village panchayats and development officers in villages and towns located along the coastal regions of south India. This is a satellite based system and is used by IMD to warn specific regions of approaching cyclones and other sea-based threats. This system is presently under installation.

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