Every year, Navy Day is celebrated in India on December 4 to commemorate the day the Indian Navy successfully executed Operation Trident, an attack on Pakistani Naval headquarters in Karachi. Found in 1612 by the East India Company, The Royal Indian Navy was, at that time, known as the Honourable East India Company’s Marine. In 1686, its name was changed to Bombay Marine and in 1830, the Bombay Marine became His Majesty’s Indian Navy.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje, who established the Martha empire, is considered as the Father of Indian Navy. The Indian Navy is among the top ten naval forces of the world. In 2015, the Indian Navy had a strength of 58,350 personnel and a large operational fleet consisting of two aircraft carriers, one amphibious transport dock, 9 Landing ship tanks , 10 destroyers, 15 frigates, one nuclear-powered attack submarine, 14 conventionally-powered attack submarines, 25 corvettes, 7 mine countermeasure vessels, 47 patrol vessels, 4 fleet tankers and various other auxiliary vessels .
The Indian Navy’s first independent mission was against the Portuguese Navy during the liberation of Goa in 1961. India’s naval forces played a key role in the Second World War. A small fleet to begin with, the onset of the war led to an expansion in vessels and personnel described by one writer as “phenomenal”. The large number of Indian merchant seamen and merchant ships were instrumental in keeping the large stream of raw material and supplies from India to the United Kingdom open.
The Indian Navy fought one of the largest naval conflicts since the Second World War. During the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war, the Indian Navy executed a blockade, carrier aircraft bombing missions and cruise missile strikes against land targets. Using anti-ship cruise missiles to destroy Pakistani oil tank farms was quite innovative for its time.
The missile BrahMos , is the fastest cruise missile in the world with a speed of Mach (ratio between the speed of the object and the speed of sound) 2.8 – 3.0. It makes India the only country with supersonic cruise missiles in their army, navy, and air force. Most Indian Navy ships and submarines are now manufactured indigenously. MARCOS or Marine Commandos, nicknamed magarmach, are the special operations (very secretive) unit of the Indian Navy.
They are widely feared by terrorists and played a huge role during the rescue mission of the hostages during the 26/11 attacks of Mumbai. The MARCOS are given rigourous training that they can undertake operation on any terrain. They face a 90% drop-out rate during training and recruitment.
Indian Navy uses a multi-brand communication satellite called GSAT – 7. It helps Indian Navy to acquire the blue water capabilities, which means an oceangoing fleet is able to operate on the high seas far from its nation’s homeports.
India also uses its navy to enhance the international relations by conducting frequent port visits and going on humanitarian missions like providing disaster relief. The current flag of Indian Navy incorporates St. George’s Cross design, a part of the Union Jack. Indian Navy expects to be a force of 150 ships and 500 aircraft by 2027.
India will have its first supercarrier in INS Vishal by 2025.
INS (Indian Naval Ship) Viraat was the navy’s first aircraft carrier and the oldest aircraft carrier in the world. Our second aircraft carrier is the INS Vikramaditya. Additionally, INS Vikrant is the first aircraft carrier to have been manufactured in India. The INS Arihant is a 6,000 tonne vessel and the lead ship in India’s nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. INS Arihant is the first ballistic missile submarine to have been built by a country other than one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council .
The Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB) formed in March 2009 after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, is the unit of the Indian Navy responsible for patrolling India’s coastal waters. There are only two naval aerobatic teams in the world and one of them is our country’s navy. It is known as Saagar Pawan. The Indian Navy has successfully completed an expedition to the North Pole and the South Pole. Indian Navy was the first navy to send a submariner on an expedition to Mt. Everest!
Empowering India’s armed forces
Guided by a farsighted vision to make the country self-reliant in Defence electronics, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) was set up in Bangalore in 1954 by the Government of India under the Ministry of Defence (MoD). From a humble beginning, BEL has come a long way. It is now a Navratna PSU and India’s foremost Defence electronics company.
BEL is a multi-product, multi-technology, multi-unit conglomerate boasting of over 350 products in the areas of Radars, Missile Systems, Military Communications, Naval Systems, Electronic Warfare & Avionics, C4I Systems, Electro Optics, Tank Electronics & Gun/Weapon System Upgrades, Solar Photovoltaic Systems, Electronic Components and civilian products. The gamut of products includes small components costing a few rupees to huge systems costing crores of rupees. With its expertise developed over the years, the company also provides turnkey systems solutions.
While Defence continues to contribute to nearly 80 to 85% of its revenue, BEL has touched a chord with the common man through civilian products like solar traffic signals and Electronic Voting Machines(EVMs). BEL’s reliable and tamper-proof EVMs has redefined voting in India, facilitating free and fair elections. BEL’s customers include the Army, Navy, Air Force, Paramilitary, Coast Guard, Police, Doordarshan, All India Radio, Department of Telecommunications and consumers of professional electronic components.
Research & Development has been one of BEL’s core strengths, helping it maintain its pre-eminence in Defence electronics. The Company has been spending about 8% of its turnover on R&D. BEL has extensive infrastructure — its manufacturing network is spreading over 9 Units located across the country. BEL provides, after sales support whenever and wherever required, irrespective of time or terrain. For instance, its support to the Defence forces during the Kargil operation was well appreciated.
Highlights of 2015-16BEL registered a growth of 12% in 2015-16. The Company recorded a sales turnover of Rs. 7,522 crores in 2015-16 as compared to Rs. 6,695 crores in the previous year.
The Profit Before Tax was Rs.1,809 crores for 2015-16 as against Rs 1,467 crores in 2014-15. The profit After Tax was Rs.1,358 crores for 2015-16 as against Rs 1,167 crores in 2014-15. Exports registered a growth of 47% as the turnover increased from US $58 million in 2014-15 to US $85 million in 2015-16. The Turnover Per Employee was Rs.76.38 lakhs.
The Value Added per Employee was Rs. 33.49 lakhs. BEL has an order book value of Rs.32,022 crores as on April 1, 2016. An important milestone of the year was the induction of the Akash Missile System into Indian Air Force and Indian Army.
Major Orders Executed
Some of the significant orders executed during 2015-16 includes supply of Akash Weapon System (Indian Army & Indian Air Force), 3-D Tactical Control Radar (Army), Schilka Upgrade (Army), Passive Night Vision Devices (Army), Low Level Light Weight Radar (Air Force), Fire Control System (Navy), Integrated Sonar Suite (Navy), Ship Data Network (Navy), New Generation Sonar’s (Navy) and L Band Surveillance Radar for Export (Myanmar).
New Business Initiatives which were taken includes, laying the foundation stone for a new Defence Systems Integration Complex at Anantapur district to expand the Missile Systems business and another state-of-the-art Advanced Night Vision Products Factory at Nimmaluru village in Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh.
Make In India Initiatives
BEL has been playing its part to promote the Government’s Make in India initiative. BEL is focusing more on core areas and R&D, even as all non-core areas are being outsourced to Indian industries including MSMEs. A long-term Outsourcing & Indigenisation Policy has been released. Nodal officers for outsourcing and vendor development have been nominated. Annually, around 800 new indigenous vendors are added.
Outlook For The Future
BEL will continue its indigenisation efforts in keeping with ‘Make in India’ initiative. Radars, Missile Systems, Communication & Network Centric Systems, Tank Electronics, Gun Upgrades, Electro-Optic Systems and Electronic Warfare & Avionics Systems to drive BEL’s growth. The Company is pursuing business opportunities in solar energy, homeland security and telecom. Strategies and action plans are in place to face competition, maintain technological edge and retain leadership position in strategic electronics.