With over 100,000 missiles to its credit, the state-run Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has now made an investment of around $ 6.66 billion at a new facility in Hyderabad to produce surface-to-air missiles. The foundation stone of this greenfield production facility was laid by M M Pallam Raju, Minister of State (Defence) along with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy. This facility where surface-to-air missile production is being envisaged will be BDL’s fourth manufacturing unit in Andhra Pradesh.
This upcoming greenfield facility will be located near Ibrahimpatinam in Andhra Pradesh and it will be operational in four years. According to M M Pallam Raju, a tie-up with a couple of foreign nations is being envisaged and the production facility will start operating once that has materialized. Besides producing missiles developed by DRDO, BDL will also do value-addition for others.
BDL Chairman and Managing Director Maj Gen Ravi Khetarpal indicated that while foreign collaboration is needed for the technology required in producing certain missiles, indigenous missiles will also be produced for the Armed Forces. BDL intends to produce advanced medium-range surface-to-air missiles at the new facility. As for the $6.66 billion investment, BDL plans to spread this amount over the next two Five Year Plans.
BDL specializes in making a wide range of missiles including the intercontinental missiles. Besides producing the Prithvi missile, Akash missile, Agni IRBM, BDL has also produced the Konkurs anti-tank missiles. It has recently developed an upgraded version of the Nag anti-tank missile which has a fire and forgets capability. BDL has also set up a facility to manufacture underwater torpedoes / self-propelled projectiles which can be launched from a submarine, aircraft or a ship.
BDL has been on the hunt for land in Andhra Pradesh to increase its production capabilities and it already has in Hyderabad and Medak districts in Andhra Pradesh. Besides the order for Akash missiles which is being produced in Hyderabad, production of very short range missiles, long range missiles and air to air missiles may also continue here. BDL had bagged the $ 3.1 billion order to make Akash missiles for the army and this is the reason behind opening new manufacturing facilities.