Bengaluru: A new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for Composite Materials, environmental testing & finishing has been inaugurated at BEL's Navi Mumbai unit. The inauguration was done by Shripad Naik, Minister of State (IC) for Ayush & MoS defence on Tuesday. The new facility is expected to turnaround the fortunes of Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited's Navi Mumbai Unit. The existing facility has traditionally been in the business of manufacturing Shelters and Masts and overhauling of hydraulic systems of T-72 tanks.
BEL diversifies in Composites
The new facility would boost the unit’s manufacturing and testing capabilities in composites, a new area which has been identified by BEL for diversification. The Unit will use the facility to carry out in-house designing and manufacturing of components using GFRP (Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer) and CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer) Composites for various Naval applications, submarines, aircraft and shelters. Inaugurating the new facility, Shripad Naik said "the new facility at Navi Mumbai Unit would enable BEL to develop Composites which were lighter yet stronger and posed no environmental hazard. He added that these new products would cater to the requirements of shipbuilders, metro, etc". He extended all help to BEL, which had taken an innovative step by foraying into the area of Composites. Gowtama M V, CMD, BEL, said "the revival story of Navi Mumbai Unit was worth emulating. BEL would like to be a supply chain partner for all platform manufacturers of the country, including PSUs such as MDL, GRSE, etc".
BEL-NAMU has already executed Composites projects such as Radome for 12.86m Doppler Weather Radar and GFRP Pressurised Missile Container for the Akash Missile System. Besides, the Unit has designed a CFRP shelter for Defence applications, Composite Mast, Composite Canister for QRSAM, Climatic Control Light Weight Composite Enclosure, Composite Stave Assembly to mount sonar sensors, etc.
"The revival story of Navi Mumbai Unit was worth emulating. BEL would like to be a supply chain partner for all platform manufacturers of the country, including PSUs such as MDL, GRSE, etc"- Gowtama MV, CMD
Composites consist of two or more distinct materials, which are combined to improve the directional strength properties of individual parts. Composites have many advantages including weight saving (without compromising on other properties), leading to fuel saving, increase in payload and increase in performance, good corrosion resistance, low thermal expansions, high strength to weight ratio and better aesthetic finish besides many other benefits. The CMD, Gowtama M V, Nataraj Krishnappa, Director (Other Units), Koshy Alexander, Director (Finance), Shivakumaran K M, Director (HR), Umesh Chandra, GM (NAMU), senior officers of BEL and representatives of R&DE (E), DRDO, were also present on the occasion.