In an interview with Defenseworld.net, Colonel H.S.Shankar, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Alpha Design Technologies gives insights on the current scenario of defense manufacturing in India, equipment manufacturing by Alpha design and its associations, key collaborations, joint ventures. H.S. Shankar says, "ADTL is planning to expand its subsidiary Company Alpha-Tocol Engineering Services Private Limited into a major Air Frame manufacturing Organization to undertake as Tier 2 Contractor for Rafale Offsets, F-16 aircraft, Grippen Aircraft, Ka-226 parts manufacture."
DW : Alpha Design has been in Indian Aerospace and Defence sector for over a decade. How has defence sector in India changed over this course of time?
Colonel H.S.Shankar: The changes as seen by us are primarily in the perception of various decision makers in getting things done quickly and the openness of taking along Industry (particularly Private Sector Industries) with the Defence Forces to work out technological solutions to plug gaps in our Defence arsenal.
DW : What are the major equipment and systems Alpha Design has developed?
Colonel H.S.Shankar: Alpha Design Technologies Limited (ADTL) is focused in the areas of Opto-electronics, Thermal Imager (TI) based Fire Control Systems (FCS), EW sub-units/sensors, Tactical Communication equipment and systems, Simulators, Airframe manufacture for Su-30 Mk I fighter aircraft and LCA, etc. ADTL has developed indigenously through its own R&D large number of Optronics Devices (such as Night Vision Binoculars, Rifle Sights, Reflex Sights, etc., using both Image Intensifier (II) and Uncooled TI technologies), Tactical Switch (ULSB Mk III), RF Seekers for Missile Applications, Interrogator Friend & Foe (IFF), Software Defined Radios (SDR) etc.
DW : Provide an update on key collaborations, joint ventures? How are they shaping up?
Colonel H.S.Shankar: ADTL has strong collaboration agreement with Elbit, Israel on various projects of importance both for national and international markets – such as Thermal Imager based Fire Control Systems for Tanks, Hand Held Thermal Imager Sights, uncooled TI based Rifle Sights, Tactical Communication Equipment. With IAI, Israel on RF Seeker Assembly and Testing, Radomes for AWACS, Machined Precision parts for Cold Plate Assembly, Radar base, etc. ADTL has collaboration with Airbus, Germany on Missile Launch Detection Systems.
DW : What are the opportunities ADTL eyeing in the global market place?
Colonel H.S.Shankar: ADTL is planning to expand its subsidiary Company Alpha-Tocol Engineering Services Private Limited into a major Air Frame manufacturing Organization to undertake as Tier 2 Contractor for Rafale Offsets, F-16 aircraft, Grippen Aircraft, Ka-226 parts manufacture. Also, ADTL wants to be the major exporter of TI based FCS in countries like Vietnam, Thailand and other Countries.
DW : Alpha Design recently won an Israeli order for co-development very high frequency communication devices. Are you offering the same VHFs to Indian Army?
Colonel H.S.Shankar: Yes. These communication sets are already under consideration by Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Defence Acquisition Council has cleared the procurement of the VHF radios to the Indian Army.
DW : What else are you offering to the Indian armed forces?
Colonel H.S.Shankar: ADTL has offered and is taking part in large number of User Trials & Evaluations – such as Inertial Navigation System (INS) for Army, Tactical Access Switch (TAS) for Army, 1Kw HF Communication equipment for Army, Pechora Upgrade for IAF, Comprehensive Upgrade for BMP-II (TI based FCS) Mi-17 Helicopter Upgrade (as Offset Partner) Aerostat for IAF, IP Radio & Radio Relay for Army, EW suite for Helicopters for IAF, etc.
DW : Tell us more about the IPO Alpha Design is planning.
Colonel H.S.Shankar: Given our growth trajectory we are looking at multiple options to fund our growth and all routes are currently being evaluated. We will take a call on this at an appropriate juncture.