Goa: Tata Power SED Ltd intends to chase nearly Rs.7 trillion in defence opportunities over the next demand with the aim to become India’s largest defence prime contractor for land systems, according to Rahul Chaudhry, chief executive officer of the company.
In an interview on the sidelines of the Defence Expo 2016, Chaudhry said the company is developing capabilities to target these defence opportunities by tying up with universities and research firms. The company is not necessarily looking at joint ventures, Chaudhry added.
A prime contractor is a chief contractor who has a contract with the owner of a project and bears full responsibility for its completion.
Tata Power SED is a unit of Tata Power Co. Ltd.
“We are not looking at creating mere final assembly lines in India. We are looking at making complete world class products here in India, in many cases jointly developed and to export the same through our development partners,” said Chaudhry, adding that Tata Power SED has seven industrial licences to make defence products.
With 60% of India’s defence requirements met through imports, local defence production is at the heart of the Make In India programme, Modi declared in 2015, a year after he launched his government’s flagship campaign.
Chaudhry said that the defence ministry had selected consortiums led by the firm for the first two “Make” programme under the DPP or defence procurement procedures. One of these is to develop a Battlefield Management System (BMS).
The AoN estimate of the program is at Rs.50,000 crore. AoN refers to Acceptance of Necessity under DPP to procure defence products.
Chaudhry claims that his company has a technology edge within the industry and points to the fact that it is providing the Indian police forces with “third-generation” NVDs or Night Vision Devices with “Figure of Merit” (or FoM) rating of 1,700-plus. “We hope to do the same with the Indian Army,” he said.
The US limits export of NVDs to non-NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) countries beyond 1,450 FoM and also mandates end user monitoring on high FoM NVDs exported with US technologies.
Chaudhry said the company is also building power systems with operating range of -30C to +55C, a capability that will give the Indian soldier an edge in the battlefield. These systems were on display at the Defence Expo in Goa.