Working in the defence segment requires working with difficult materials as well as sophisticated machinery complying with various international codes and inspection requirements. How has Punj Lloyd built these capabilities in terms of equipment as well as know-how?
Punj Lloyd was a pioneer in setting up a dedicated private defence manufacturing facility. As a result, we invested in state-of-the-art machines way ahead of others. Punj Lloyd Manufacturing & Systems Integration Division (MSID) is a top of the line AS 9100 certified fabrication and assembly facility for defence systems in Gwalior on 65 acres of land, capable of machining, welding & fabrication of land system components, assembly, integration and testing of weapons, maintenance and repair facility for existing weapons of the Indian Army. The machinery, comprising high end imported machines, has the capability to process a multitude of material including exotic material such as Weldox, Armoured Steel, Titanium and Special Grade. Some of the equipment we have includes 5 Axes Double Column Gantry Machining Centre, 5 Axes Floor Type Machining Centre, 5 Axes Horizontal Machining Centre, 5 Axes Mill Turn, 4 Axes Turn Mill, Water Jet Cutting Machine, CAR Bottom Furnace, TIG/MIG Welding and Laboratory Equipment including CMM, Micro Hardness Tester, Spectrometer etc.
Do you have any kind of technical collaborations or partnerships with international companies? Tell us about the same.
Depending on the defence programmes we pursue, we enter into technical collaborations with reputed companies. Punj Lloyd has agreements with leading global primes for collaboration in Indian programmes for a wide range of products including artillery systems and air defence gun systems. As mentioned earlier, Punj Lloyd has a Joint Venture with IWI of Israel, world leader in innovative small arm systems.
What are the different challenges faced by the defence manufacturing sector in India? What more can the government do to improve the situation?
Long gestation period in defence has always been a deterrent. In the meanwhile, companies need to maintain and continuously upgrade their facilities and manage workforce. This capital-intensive nature of the defence business, of having to invest much before you actually receive an order is a big challenge.
What are your on-going programmes with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited?
We have multiple programmes with HAL. We are working on wing and engine components for Sukhoi aircraft other than components for Dornier.
Tell us about the various Indian Army programmes that you are currently working on?
We are working across a range of defence businesses including artillery, air defence, small arms and homeland security.