Indigenous howitzer -Kalyani Group artillery to be featured

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by LETHALFORCE, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Kalyani Group artillery to be featured

    Army chief General V K Singh’s leaked letter to defence minister A K Antony, which flagged the country’s lack of defence preparedness, casts a shadow over Defexpo India 2012, which kicks off in New Delhi tomorrow. However, the silver linings in the four-day event would be the impressive presence of several Indian private companies and newcomers in developing complex weaponry, with capabilities the defence ministry (MoD) can no longer ignore.

    Among the most visible would be the Pune-headquartered Kalyani Group, which would emphatically project its ambition to develop artillery systems for the Indian Army. With foreign artillery procurement stalled for two decades, Baba Kalyani — who has shaped his flagship company, Bharat Forge, into the world’s largest forgings manufacturer — has committed the finance, the manpower and the strategic mind space he believes would make the Kalyani Group a full-spectrum developer of artillery systems.

    Kalyani intends to start by building a 155 mm, 52-calibre towed howitzer, which the army desperately wants. Several years of user trials of foreign guns have only resulted in vendors being rejected, blacklisted, or withdrawn from the contest. Kalyani is now boldly offering an Indian alternative.
    “I will offer to the Indian Army a fully developed artillery gun system, integrating all the command and control elements, before 2015,” he asserts.

    To this end, the Kalyani Group has imported from Austrian gun manufacturer Maschinenfabrik Liezen (MFL) a service version of its famous 155 mm, 45-calibre, autonomous gun system, which had impressed Indian gunners when they evaluated it in the mid-1980s (though they bought the Bofors gun instead).

    The Kalyani Group has also bought, knocked down and transported to India an entire operational artillery gun factory from Swiss company RUAG. Instead of learning the ropes of manufacturing artillery from scratch, Kalyani’s designers in Pune intend to absorb foreign technology, thereby leapfrogging an extended development process. Unlike many Indian private companies, Baba Kalyani is investing his own money into building capabilities. Given Bharat Forge’s hardcore engineering pedigree, he is confident he has the solution.

    Says Kalyani: “There are the DRDO ((Defence Research & Development Organisation), the OFB (Ordnance Factory Board) and other excellent organisations that have design talent and capability. What India lacks is the ability to convert designs into manufactured products. This is where the Kalyani Group comes in. Building an artillery gun system is largely about materials, forgings and manufacturing. We have in our group the capability to be a top-class manufacturer of precision products.”

    Kalyani Steel would provide the steel and metallurgy. The drives, engine, transmission, etc would be built by Automotive Axles Ltd, the Rs 2,000-crore Kalyani Group company and the largest manufacturer of axles in the region.

    Alongside the engineering bravado, there is realism, too, about the Kalyani Group’s inexperience in creating the sophisticated software that underpins the gun control, fire correction and command and control systems, about 50 per cent of the overall gun system.

    “Our strategy is to collaborate with entities that already have capabilities in electronics and guidance. (For this) we are in constant dialogue with the DRDO and the MoD. But we are confident about the precision engineering needed for the mechanical parts of the gun,” says Kalyani.

    The only “missing link”, as Kalyani puts it, is the reliance on the MoD for testing facilities. Guns under development must be periodically tested through live firing. In India, this can only be conducted in cooperation with the Army. The MoD, rattled by the repeated failures of artillery gun procurement programmes, has already initiated two projects in the public sector to develop an artillery gun. The OFB has been asked to construct two 155 mm, 39-calibre guns from the engineering drawings that came with the Bofors gun in the mid-1980s. The OFB would then try to upgrade these into longer-range 155 mm, 45-calibre guns.

    Simultaneously, the MoD has sanctioned Rs 150 crore for the DRDO to develop a 155 mm, 52-calibre gun. The DRDO’s Armament R&D Establishment (ARDE), Pune, would soon float a tender for an Indian industrial partner, in which the Kalyani Group intends to bid.

    Such is the aggressiveness within the Group that it intends to develop its own gun on a parallel track, even if it becomes an industrial partner to the DRDO for the ARDE’s gun. Rajinder Bhatia, who would head this project, says, “We are willing to compete against ourselves. On one track, we will work with the DRDO, funded by the government. On our own track, we will fund ourselves. Baba Kalyani is willing to commit Rs 100 crore for this.”
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Kalyani Group Plans Made In India Artillery Howitzer



    Kalyani Group Plans Made In India Artillery Howitzer



    Bharat Forge-- a Kalyani group company is planning to emerge as the first private sector player to indigenously develop a towed gun artillery system to meet the Army’s long-pending requirements.

    The firm has already committed Rs 100 crore towards the development of these guns to be designed as per the Armed Forces' specifications of 155 mm/52 calibre artillery systems.

    The total investment to bring them into commercial production is expected to be in the range of USD 40 million.

    "We are the only private player in India with a defence manufacturing facility," Amit Kalyani, executive director of Bharat Forge Limited.

    "Now, we want to build an Indian gun with global expertise," he said.

    While other players like Larsen and Toubro have entered joint ventures (JVs) with foreign partners to get access to critical technology, Bharat Forge has chosen to avoid that route.

    "We believe joint ventures can be a limitation at times as the foreign partner would like to do things in a particular manner. We want to be able to do things our way so we will get the best global technologies off the shelf from high-pedigree global partners," Kalyani said.

    While Kalyani is confident of developing the guns over the next 18-24 months, a key challenge would be to test them and the firm is hopeful that it will be allowed to 'compete on an equal footing.' Bharat Forge has been a supplier to the Indian Army for nearly 30 years
     
  4. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Kalyani still remains illusive !
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Private sector will help India make own artillery gun

    Private sector will help India make own artillery gun



    Defence Minister A.K. Antony holds a gun during the inauguration of Defexpo last month. PTI
    Indian private industry has finally stepped in to help India make its own artillery gun, after artillery modernisation has been pushed back following three order cancellations, and the return of the Bofors ghost each time to haunt the Congress, even after two and a half decades.

    At the ongoing 7th edition of Defexpo-2012, Larsen and Toubro (L&T) signed consortium agreements with French Nexter to collaborate for key artillery gun programmes for the Indian Army. There are three programmes, for which L&T is the lead partner for the 130 mm/39 calibre M-46 up-gunning (upgrade) programme and Nexter will lead for the 155mm/52 calibre towed variety and for the mounted gun system.

    Phillipe Burtin, CEO of of Nexter Systems said at Defexpo on Friday, "Our teams have been working closely for more than two years and am delighted with the results achieved for the towed gun system on the TRAJAN system."

    L&T Heavy Engineering president M.V. Kotwal represented the Indian side, and said, "This collaboration minimises the requirements of spares and through life support across multiple artillery systems."

    There are efforts from the Defence Public Sector Units also to come out with an indigenous gun, as the army's modernisation has been hit badly. As part of the modernisation and upgradation programme, Bofors had emerged as the single vendor three times. But since New Delhi was politically haunted by the Bofors controversy, the tender was cancelled thrice — in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

    It may be noted that last November the DRDO chief, Dr V.K. Saraswat had said that the Pune-based DRDO lab — Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) was working on developing an indigenous artillery 155mm 52 calibre howitzer, and it would take approximately four years to complete development, as advanced metallurgy for the howitzer barrels was what the lab was working at.

    After being unable to produce indigenous guns and also being unable to buy new ones owing to stringent procurement procedures, the army has been trying, as part of its over Rs 20,000-crore artillery modernisation plan, to induct howitzers through other routes like Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and global bidding, which brought in the offer of the US Congress for the $647-million contract deal for 145 155mm M-777 ultra-light weight guns. But the M-777 deal too has got stuck as an inquiry is underway.

    Cancellation of tenders owing to various reasons has pushed back artillery modernisation, and the army has been unable to induct any new gun in the last 25 years, after the Bofors gun kickbacks controversy escalated into a major political showdown for the Congress in the mid-80s. So much so that in the latest tender floated by the MoD in mid 2011, for procuring 400 guns, Bofors did not participate, and pulled out of the competition.

    About the public and private sectors joining hands for the gun, an L&T official told this newspaper, "It is very early to say, as the programme has just started, but if L&T is approached, then we see no problem in joining up with DRDO."

    The basic structure or chassis for the towed and mounted guns are ready and Nexter officials said that it was more of integration and coming up with the requirements of the Indian army as will be told to us by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), that will be done, and accordingly participate in trials. The gun framework already exists, and will be made functional as per Indian requirements, and L&T will provide the support once they are in service, as its share of the partnership. The officials refused to disclose the numbers required or the cost, but said that if open biding was called for, there would be participation.
     
  6. Predator

    Predator Regular Member

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    good initiative by kalyani group
     
  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Nalanda OFB to develop indigenous artillery shells - Brahmand.com

    Nalanda OFB to develop indigenous artillery shells


    NEW DELHI (PTI): After its earlier partners - both foreign firms - were banned by the Defence Ministry, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) Nalanda has begun work to indigenously develop critical components needed for artillery shells, including Bofors guns.

    "It has been decided that the Bi-Modular Charge Systems (BMCS) required for firing artillery shells for heavy guns like Bofors will be indigenously developed by OFB Nalanda in Bihar. The technology would be provided by the Nainital-based DRDO laboratory High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL)," an OFB official told PTI.

    BMCS are the propellant required for firing ammunition of high-calibre howitzers and artillery guns.

    The materials and chemicals required for developing BMCS have been developed by other OFBs and a small number of the finished products- in test-tube quantity- have been sent to Balasore in Odisha for Initial Assessment Trials (IAT), officials said.

    OFB Nalanda, which has been given the responsibility to produce BMCS, will start operating its first plant by August, they said, adding the plant will produce some key components required for making the final product.

    The IAT has been scheduled for next week, after which the equipment will be subject to the quality parameters set by the Directorate General of Quality Assurance under the Defence Ministry.

    These tests will validate the progress made by OFB in making the systems, which will be used as prototypes to be further developed to meet the requirement of the Indian Army, said the officials.

    The Defence Ministry had given the OFB the go-ahead in 1999 to produce the BMCS and had set November 2001 as deadline to complete the project.

    Initially, the government had selected South African firm Denel to provide the required technology. But in June 2005, the firm was blacklisted after allegations of corruption.

    In 2007, Israeli Military Industries was selected as the partner to supply the technology and a contract was signed with it. But soon, IMI too was charged with corruption and was blacklisted by the Defence Ministry.

    Though no timeline has been fixed for the development of these BMCS, officials hope that the plants will be fully functional by the end of this year and the final products will be ready soon after.

    "We have to ensure that all the required procedures are fulfilled while ensuring that we finish the project soon," the officials added.
     
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  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Let the guns boom first and then we will know.
     
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  9. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    thotha chana baaje ghana (empty vessels make loud noise)
     
  10. Blood+

    Blood+ Regular Member

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    Yep!!YOU are the biggest example of it. . . . . . . . . . . . .
     
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  11. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Mirchi Lagi to aim is achieved...... By the way that was a personal comment you could not resist.
     
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  12. Blood+

    Blood+ Regular Member

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    Arey mirchi kaheki bhai sahab?Just pulling you leg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
     
  13. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Resist from pulling "the leg" or it may land at wrong places
     
  14. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    For critics of DRDO :-

     
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  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    At what costs to lives of the military personnel?
     
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  16. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Soldiers lives is too immaterial in India specially for politicians, bureaucratic and DODOs. That is why they remained enslaved courtesy military might for centuries together. Still No lessons learnt.
     
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  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Let us see the manner in which procurement of weapons become tardy and infructuous.

    Col Anil Kaul VrC (retd) has published in the Magazine 'SALUTE to the Indian Soldier' Jun Jul 2012 how procurement takes place and also this one
    Tehelka - India's Independent Weekly News Magazine

    A typical examples of how military bureaucracy works is as follows: A lightweight bulletproof jacket is required. Its importance has come to light when an infantry jawan combating terrorists is killed wearing such a cumbersome jacket. The item is available off-the-shelf internationally.

    Typically, the requirement would be raised by the main users, the Infantry. A request for provision would be sent by the directorate general of Infantry (DG INF) duly approved by its Director General, an officer of the rank of Lt General, equivalent to a joint secretary in the government to his counterpart in the directorate general of weapons and equipment, (DGWE), both sitting approximately 500 metres apart, connected by telephone and on the intranet. A running file in hard copy and a duplicate file would be generated. The DGWE would then send the said file on a formula one circuit to ascertain, first, whether at all a replacement of the said item would be required or not; second whether it could be produced in the country or needed to be imported, and finally for its cost evaluation. The file would wind its way from the DGWE’s office to that of the operations directorate, on to the ordnance, completing its journey at the perspective planning and financial planning directorates. Keeping in mind the working days, holidays, absenteeism of concerned officials and the normal fact-finding gestation period, the onward and return journeys would take at least six months.

    In the meantime, 10 more fatal casualties due to similar equipment fault would have taken place and converted to statistics.

    Having got a unanimous clearance that it was needed, it had to be imported and was available off the shelf at a competitive price, and that adequate funds from the yearly budget were available for procurement of ‘X’ number of items, a note for procurement would be sent to the concerned section in the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

    The lowest rung in the MoD, a section officer who has never seen a bullet let alone a bulletproof jacket, would be the first one to comment on the note duly approved by no less a person than the COAS. The file would then take off on a perilous journey covering the chain up to the Secretary of Defence, with each one in the chain either initialing the file or putting his own version of disagreement with the proposal. The secretary, not wanting to be seen in a poor light for outright rejecting the proposal, would forward it to his counterpart in the department of defence production to ascertain why shining India could not produce this item. The journey would then end at the doorstep of the defence research and development organisation (DRDO) and the ordnance factory board (OFB).

    The DRDO would be quick off the block and would immediately commission a team of scientists and other officers of the MoD and OFB to visit foreign countries to assess the availability and efficacy of the requested item. The procedure of selection, sanction to travel, issue of visas and booking of tickets as also arranging their stay and demonstrations in the host country would take another three months or so. From the time the proposal had reached the MoD we are looking at roughly six months down the line. The team’s visit over a few samples would be imported from various countries for evaluation and user trials on one hand and an effort at reverse engineering in our own ordnance factories.

    The field trials would be conducted in actual combat-infested areas and the results would filter up the chain of command to the MoD. An average gestation period of three months for this to happen would be reasonable. Simultaneously, the efforts at reverse engineering would be going on and the DRDO and OFB would claim to be able to produce an even better version than the original -- however, with a rider that it would take at least one year to produce a prototype and, if approved, another couple of years for its introduction in service.

    In the interim, 20 more casualties both fatal and seriously wounded would have occurred and been reported.

    Finally, the MoD would constitute a committee to evaluate the foreign bids as also the home product. A global tender would be issued and the price negotiating committee set up. This would take another six months if not more to fructify. The end result the firm declared as LI or the lowest bidder would be identified and an order placed.

    Just as the order was to be executed there would be a leak in the media that a particular ministers kin who was the front man for the foreign supplying company had influenced the deal and a vast sum of money had crossed hands for the same. Uproarious scenes erupt in Parliament, news channels run evening debates addressed by a host of retired army officers and bureaucrats, all condemning the disgraceful act. The company is banned and the order scrapped.

    In the interim, 20 more casualties, both fatal and seriously wounded including four young officers have occurred. They, like all those before them, join the ranks of the Unknown Soldier.

    Cut to the ceremony at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate on 26 January. The Prime Minister, the defence minister and the three service chiefs, among others, pay homage to the martyrs, surrounded by gun-toting personnel of various agencies all wearing the obsolete and ineffective bulletproof jacket.

    Col (retired) Anil Kaul is the author of Better Dead Than Disabled published by Parity Paperbacks.
     
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  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    His article in the SALUTE was more comprehensive.

    It was titled 'How to Organise the Force?'
     
  19. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Bharat Forge The Kalyani Group 155mm of 45cal..

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  20. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    No sir, I meant that our country is not a developed country it needs some time to develop indigenous technologies, till then we should keep some hopes, instead of blaming DRDO for all and everything we should provide them better funds and time. But sometimes their overconfidence put our soldiers' life on risk and this shouldn't happen. :)
     
  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    You won't believe how much of fund or time they get.

    They cannot even reverse engineer things.

    When they produce something and get them for User Trials and it fails, they keep promising the moon, get more time and more funds and the next time they give it for trials, it is improved, but fall way below what is acceptable.

    It is not their overconfidence that is at fault, it is there lack of interest, lethargy and the feeling that they have a secure Govt job and that is all.

    There are good scientists in the DRDO. They join and then their initiative is killed by the sab chalta hai attitude and downright red tapeism!

    It is the Military which wants indigenous products because in the time of war, even if there is sanctions, it will not affect the outcome of the war.

    The military is more concerned that things should be indigenous because the final proof of the military's existence is winning battles and the campaign. One cannot win without a guaranteed supply of arms and ammunition and equipment. Sanctions dry up the supply chain and winning wars become difficult or is at great cost to human lives.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012

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