Focussed to become defence strategic player: Abhyuday Jindal

New Delhi, March 1 (IANS) The Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Ltd on Wednesday said that they want to become tier one players in the defence sector and want to enter the sector as a strategic player.

“We want to become strategic partner and focus more on our strength, which is stainless steel and special steel. So, we want to supply the raw material to PSUs and private companies in the defence segment… We don’t want to get into manufacturing of defence components,” Abhyuday Jindal, Vice Chairman, Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Ltd, told IANS.

The Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), Hyderabad, a premier research laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited (JSHL) signed the Licensing Agreement for Transfer of Technology of High Nitrogen Steel (HNS) for armour applications here on Wednesday.

The agreement, which allows JSHL to manufacture High Nitrogen Steel, was signed in the presence of Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre and DRDO Chairman S. Christopher.

Speaking to IANS, Abhyuday Jindal said: “We have been working closely with DMRL for past several years to jointly produce this kind of steel. The chemistry has come from DMRL and we have worked on the industrial scale production.”

“They have transferred the technology to us and we have the licensing agreement to commercialise this.”

On the issue of investment to produce HNS, Jindal said: “Not right now, because we already have the existing facilities in-house and we do not need anything new to produce it.”

Talking of the utility of HNS, he said: “First it will go into armour piercing and also for blast protection. These are the two applications where testing is being conducted right now. We have got an update that the quality of this steel is much better than the imported material. So, as the test happens and we get the results, it may be see more applications.”

“The cost of this steel will be 30-40 per cent less than the imported armour,” he added.

Expressing his willingness to work with the services and the DRDO, he said that JSHL is willing to contribute wherever there is a requirement of strategic material.

On expansion of the strategic business, Jindal said: “From our Hisar unit, we are trying to get into more areas like nuclear, defence and petrochemical. We are already supplying to nuclear and petrochemical sectors. Now defence is the new segment we are trying to target.”

Talking of challenges in the business, Abhyuday said: “We would require government support to substitute the material being imported right now. That is the real challenge.

“For many years, we have been importing material for these applications and now that the push has come from the current government for ‘Make in India’ initiative, with their support, the challenges can be overcome.”

HNS has potential application in armoured vehicles, including infantry combat vehicles, Main Battle Tank, Future Ready Combat Vehicles (FRCV) as well as aviation and naval systems.