Indian Defence

Kalyani Defence: Spirit Of Innovation

Introduction

All the defense aspirants know the person shown in the above picture. For the rest, he is none other than Padma Bhushan Babasaheb Neelkanth Kalyani (Well known by “BABA KALYANI) the Founder and Joint Chairman of the Kalyani Group based in Pune. The Subsidiary well-known company Bharat Forge is also a part of Kalyani Group established in 1961 and has current revenue of 3 Billion USD(2020)

The Bharat forge is India’s biggest and the world’s 2nd forging biggest company, who is a Tier 1 Manufacturer and supplier of OEM of Automobiles and also an exporter of various high-end critical components of Automotive and non-automotive components. The Bharat Forge also in sectors including Railways, Aerospace, Marine, Oil & Gas, Power, Construction, and Mining.

All the products related to defense are made by its subsidiary Kalyani Strategic Systems Limited(KSSL). There are numbers of components and systems made by Kalyani under this banner lets have a small look at them one by one and what the future holds for them.

Artillery Systems By KSSL

1)ATAGS(Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System):

The very well known Artillery going through the trials was developed jointly by DRDO and Kalyani group. The holds 155mm/52 Caliber shells and can till the range of 35kms in the Normal shell and 45kms in the Base Bleed shell. The archived the record of firing a little more than 48kms(48.074kms actually) in the Pokhran range. The gun can fire in 5 Rounds in 45 seconds in burst mode and 10 rounds in 2 min in Intense mode. Along with this it also has other features of the auxiliary battery unit, muzzle tracking, and all. The main disadvantage of the gun is the weight, the weights around 18 tonnes, and that’s why the army being performance unparalleled likes it less.

2)Bharat 52:

One more fully indigenous gun by Bharat Forge. The gun falls in the same category of ATAGS, it also had 155mm/52 Caliber Shells and has a range of 55kms(Claimed range by Kalyani Group not confirmed by which shell type). The gun can fire in 10 Rounds in 45 seconds in burst mode and 15 rounds in 3 min in Intense mode. It is said to be a futuristic artillery system because of its range and other features. A lot of appreciation for this gun was received as it displayed in DefExpo2020. It has already undergone Track and Proof Trials. The weight of the Gun is Around 15 Tonnes but along with it, it is Self Propelled by Electric Drive. It has also received the license to export from the MoD

3)Garuda 105:

This artillery is also fully Indigenous made by Kayani Group. This is the 1st of it kind to design artillery of 105mm/35 Caliber gun and mount it on a 4*4 on TATA 715 so it is a  light tactical vehicle is a lightweight, modular, high-performance howitzer. It was exhibited in DefExpo2014. The main advantage of the Gun is that it weighs less than even 1 Tonne and has a range of 17kms. Along with 4*4 vehicles, it can go to the all-terrain, fire, and flee. Also has added advantage of state of art Soft Recoil System. Many countries are looking forward to this gun and hereabouts are there that it is also getting trails for the US but this gem is yet to be inducted in the Indian Army. 

4)MGS 155mm/39 Cal:

Well from the name it things can be known about it. It is a Mounted Gun System having rounds of 155/39mm Caliber developed with BEML. The gun is mounted on a 4*4 Truck and first to put 155mm/39 Caliber gun on a truck. It can climb the areas while high gradability and also fire and flee type. The gun is inhouse made and it can fire 9 rounds in 45 sec.and weights less than 3.2 Tonnes and can be deployed in less than 1 minute. It was actually told by the CDS Bipin Rawat to develop this type of Gun. The firing trials were scheduled in May.

5)MArG:

It is Mountain Artillery Gun and comes under the category of ULH i.e. Ultra Light Howitzer. It is a 155mm/39 Caliber gun. In this section it comes in 2 variants: 1) MArG-S (Steel Variant) with a weight of 6.8 Tonnes with Conventional Recoil System and 2)MArG-T (Titanium Variant) with a weight of just 4.8 tonnes and has Hybrid Recoil System. Here Titanium is said to have a bit higher maintenance than the Steel one, but in the end, it depends on the user to sacrifice which variable. Present status of the gun ready for proof firing trials in May 2020

6)MArG ER:

The gun is very Similar to MArG but has an Extended Range. Here, the gun is 155mm/52 caliber. It is actually the hybrid of ULH and along with 52 Caliber. It’s actually the gun, which is beating M777 ULH as this one has a higher range of 41 Kms and its one of the Variant of ULH. Present status of the gun is ready for proof firing trials in June

7)Bharat 45:

It is also known as the BEAS gun based on the GC-45 gun. It’s actually a battle-proven platform. And has a range of 40kms. And it is a 155mm/45 Caliber gun.

Above are the Artillery Guns made by KSSL.

Military Vehicles by Kalyani

Along with this KSSL is also Famous for making Military Vehicles of Different types:

1)Light Armored Multipurpose Vehicle (LAM)

This Indegeniously designed 8-tonne vehicle is able to carry 6 people designed A-hull type with Blast proof technology and has a Mountable Protective suit. Due to this flexibility in design, it can be used for different purposes. This all-terrain light armored vehicle can thwart IED attacks as well. So it mainly best suited for Naxalite Regions where the terrain is harsh and also chances of getting intercepted during patrol are high. It can be used for troop movement, Surveillance, Command, and control, Reconnaissance, also for electronic warfare. It can also mount a 7.62mm or 12.7mm guns.

2) Light Strike Vehicle(LSV)

It comes in 3 variants:- Ambulance, Command post, and SF. LSV can be fitted & equipped with RCWS weapons stations which can be armed with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher. Along with being a 4*4, 4/5 Seater vehicle it is used according to its variants as it is multipurpose. The vehicle can easily thwart minor attacks of bullets but with additional kits, it can also protect from ambushes. With a weight of 4.5 Tonnes and being small it 1 vehicle can fit into Chinook and C-130J can carry 2 of them at the same time. 

3)Armored Personnel Carriers(APC)

In APC there are 2 Varients:

1)Class 2
2) CLass 1

The Purpose of the first( Class 2 (Image 1)) is to have an all-terrain capability while carrying a min. 10 troops at a time with the Protection level of STANAG Level 3 and withstanding almost all bullets from 5.56mm to 7.62 mm. With inbuilt GPS and night vision and having a mounted gun on top to directly controlling it from inside by a joystick. It was made totally by BEL

While the later version( Class 1 (Image 2)) is made according to use and can carry 12 troops at a time. It has a Protection Level of STANAG 4569 and B7 and can thwart a mine explosion of 14kg TNT at Hull,21 kg under wheels, and 10kg on sides. It was made with collaboration with ELBIT Systems. Recently have been found in Ladakh at LAC for trails.

Here Special mention of Bharat Forge’s APC which is actually a modified version made suitable for the Indian army namely 1) Kalyani M4 (Image 3) 2)Kalyani Maverick (Image 4). Both have them have been recently very famous among defense aspirants due to their capabilities and actually were stopped in Ladakh Trials.

4) Mine Protected Vehicles

Developed in collaboration with ELBIT Systems the same to above and protection level of STANAG 4569 but can withstand to blasts of 14 kg and 21kg TNT explosives and side-impact up to 50kg TNT. Also can be used now in Electronic warfare, it also has universal mounts to carry different systems.

Recently have been found in Ladakh at LAC for trails along with this, they have also developed ECARS( Enhanced Collaborative Autonomous Rover System ) with NEXBOT Technologies, where it is a UGV type vehicle with operation up to 48hrs  in all weather, and it is mainly used for Long haul vanguard armed or reconnaissance scout,  mine detection, Perimeter security of vital installations, Operation in a hazardous environment.

Other Areas

The Kalyani group has Supplied about 85000 Aluminium road wheels to Ordinance factories for T72 battle tanks and BMP2 vehicles. Also, 120mm FSAPDS Mark II designed by DRDO for Arjun Tanks is manufactured by Kalyani Group. Along with this Crankshaft, turrets, tank barrels, and ready to fit tracks for tanks are also supplied.

Coming to the part of Ammunition they have also supplied more than 2 Million shells to ordinance factories, and currently also working on futuristic ammunition like pre-fragmented air bombs, precision ammunition including electronic fuzes, HSLD bombs, complete propulsion systems for Pinaka rockets, etc. They are also suppliers of many subassemblies of gun systems worldwide and make springs, plastic parts, and MIM(Metal Injection Moulding) parts, some of them were used in JVPC (5.56 * 30mm) mainly made by ARDE and OFB.

Along with this, they have also been part of making kits for missiles, its integration and testing as well. The Kits of BARAK 8 missiles were done by the Kalyani group only. They also have the R & D center for electronics where processors, modules, etc are developed. Also making Circuits of ATGM, Optical products for UAV and BMS, and HUMS for tanks. Along with this, they have also made hand-held Mine Detector.

Other areas also include Special forgings of Crankshaft, Titanium forgings, Jet engine components, Landing Gears, and other automotive parts as well.

Collaborations and Major Milestones

  • Bharat Forge Limited to collaborate with General Atomics to develop new technologies in India for surface, undersea naval, and advanced projectiles for weapons platforms
  • Bharat Forge Limited to collaborate with Paramount Group to form a JV in India to co-develop land  systems and Aerospace platforms
  • Kalyani Strategic Systems Limited and Arsenal JSCo to form a strategic alliance to manufacture specific Small Arms in India
  • Bharat Forge Limited and JSC Dastan to partner for joint up-gradation of CET-65E torpedoes
  • It has also partnered BAE systems with for making of Air Defence Systems.
  • It has also secured the deal of 100 million for the supply of Barak-8 Missile kits 
  • It has also partnered up with ISRAEL RAFAEL Advanced Systems for local manufacturing of SPIKE ATGM and will archive 90% indigenization.
  • Also signed the MOU with THALES group for manufacturing F-90 Rifles in India
  • KSSL and Arsenal signed an MOU for developing a manufacturing capability in India for the 7.62 x 39mm Assault Rifle and 7.62 x 51mm Machine Gun series.
  • It has also increased its stake in Aeron Systems to indirectly increase knowhow in the Defence and Aerospace sector

The future is very bright for Kalyani, the reasons behind this are several that as of now army needs more than 4000 Artillery guns., also various military vehicles(after Pulwama this has gained much attention) various guns, AGV, UGV, Missile kits for various platform, Forgings and even tank spares and ammunition. All of this is going to boost the growth, as the government’s commitment to the 101 Negative Import list there are very high chances that the firm will be getting a high amount of orders for each of its products.

We hope that this company becomes one of the big conglomerates in the privatization of the Defense of India and make it reliable on Indigenous products.

Nirav Kotak

A Mechanical Engineer and a Defense Enthusiast wanting to share knowledge and learn more from others as well.

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