With Essar Steel venturing into the Defence manufacturing sector to produce steel grades for the Land and the Naval Defence, the expected expenditure estimate in the sector is likely to go beyond 200 billion dollars in five years.
The company is developing a range of products which can replace the need for import. It has also developed indigenous armour plate for ballistic protection, the Economic Times reported.
The products have the potential to replace import products which are used in the offshore patrol vessels, floating docks and for the construction of advanced naval destroyer. They render ballistic protection to fight vehicles and battle tanks.
In addition to this, their products are also utilised for repair of naval ships and for vessels’ construction at the Coast Guard.
Essar Steel aims to promote the originality of products used in the Naval Defence which includes naval destroyers, offshore patrol vessels utilised by both Coast Guard and Navy, rocket launchers, floating docks and submarines.
In the Land Defence area, the products are also used for battle tanks, motor casing of missiles, mine protected and combat vehicles, military and civil vehicles, artillery guns, morcha and machan.
Apart from raising domestic demand, these products can also be utilised for export.
The market survey puts the annual demand potential at approximately 2 lakh tonnes out of which 50% is in flat steel and the remaining is in structural steel.
“The defence sector is witnessing exponential growth. Essar Steel would like to be a part of this growing segment so we can capitalise on our strengths, which include state-of-the-art manufacturing and product development,” the daily quoted Dillip Oommen, MD and CEO, Essar Steel, as saying recently.
“We have developed an excellent track record by successfully supplying steel to many Defence projects. This has given us the confidence and encouragement to expand our product portfolio for this segment.”
The amended Defence Procurement Policy 2016 promotes “Make in India” and supports indigenous manufacturing of defence equipment and spares. With a vision to achieve the indigenisation level of 60 per cent to 70 per cent, against the present 40 per cent.
Apart from saving foreign exchange for clients, it promotes self-sufficiency and self-reliance, with this the position of the country as an exporter of defence goods also rises.
The Union Budget for 2017-18 outlays a Defence expenditure of $53.50 billion—up from the $30 billion in 2009-10.
About 80% to 90% of Defence manufacturing in India is mainly controlled by the OFB (Ordnance Factories Board) and DPSUs (Defence Public Sector Undertaking).
However, in the current scenario, several big corporate houses in India have also ventured into this sector and have come up with partnerships and expansion plans. Essar Steel has been servicing the Defence sector for the past 6-7 years, the entry of private players has enhanced the marketability of its products.