New Delhi: Bharat Forge, India’s top forging and metallurgy firm has set itself a challenge to achieve. If they did, they will be India’s first artillery gun manufacturers. Participating in the Defexpo India-2012, the company’s Executive Director, Amit Kalyani told media persons that the indigenous gun will be ready for trials in the next 24 months.
Kalyani said, “We are aiming to make 155mm 52 caliber towed gun in Pune. The technology has been developed within the company with the help of outside experts of east European countries. Technology is with people not with the brand. If you bring right people, you can develop any technology. We are committed to the defence needs.”
He said, “We are going through transformation path and we are engineering conglomerate with five verticals and defence is one of them.”
Kalyani sought level playing field for the private Indian gun manufactures and said, “The gun is expected to be ready for trials in two years time. The company has requested the concerned army for facilities at its firing range. So far, the response has been very supportive from the Army and DRDO. We hope the gun, which we are developing, will fulfill all the requirements of the Army.
Speaking on the opportunity that Indian defence requirements are throwing to the industry, he said, “We are convinced that industry has role in this.” The Bharat Forge has competence in forging and metallurgy which is back bone for many of the defence land systems. The core competence has been brought to the table by the company along with engineering skills to come up with totally in house solutions for defence needs.
Amit Kalyani told that, the company is involved in the defence business for around 30 years but the revenue generation from army supplies is around 200 crore which is peanuts for the $2 billion group. The company has invested Rs. 100 crores for the development to the 155/52 gun. The group’s focus on the defence sector is on the artillery, ammunition, special vehicle and futuristic products.
Bharat Forge has been supplying ammunition shells to the army. Apart from that, the company manufactures barrels for 155mm 39 caliber guns. The company has also supplied around 30,000 wheels for T-72/90 tanks to the Indian Army. Also special alloy and titanium products for the armed forces are developed and supplied by the company.
The company is also looking for partners to develop and manufacture armoured vehicles. He admitted that the company will market the gun once developed to other countries. He said, “We would like to market the gun across the world but our heart is in India. There was a time when the western companies were not even willing to give us an appointment to meet but now the times have changed. Today representatives of many such countries are making beeline to partner with us.”