Initiatives undertaken by the Government to modernize the Indian armed forces and the push for indigenisation of defence manufacturing through the “Make in India” campaign has encouraged Indian automobile companies to venture into developing vehicles for military use. Several private sector companies have embarked upon ambitious program to develop prototype Light Bullet Proof Vehicles (LBPV), either indigenously or with an overseas JV.
As part of its strategy, Essar Steel focuses on developing and engaging with sectors demanding value added grades for critical application and substitute imports in such areas like Defence. The requirements of steel for the defence sector fits well into this approach, and thus the company has embarked on a long term plan to address the same.
Essar Steel is well positioned with its state-of-the-art facility, strength of product development and performance track in order to leverage and secure a major share in supplies of steel for defence manufacturing. Steel intensive equipment for defence would primarily be for land and sea application.
The company operates a state-of-the-art heavy plate mill, which is amongst the most modern in the world with an installed capacity of 1.5 MTPA. Its heat treatment facilities is complete with normalizing and austentising furnaces followed by quenching and tempering units.
With focus on demand from the defence sector in India, the company has taken steps towards reducing imports and making the country self-reliant in this critical sector. At the same time, the company will continue to explore the export markets.
The company has jointly developed a state-of-the-art armour grade steel plate with DRDO, of extremely high strength for application in futuristic combat vehicles, battle tanks and parts of missiles. For the first time in India, this grade of high strength steel was rolled through its continuous caster. It is a matter of pride for Essar Steel, and for the whole nation. The company is a registered supplier with several agencies of the Ministry of Defence.
The company has also been a forerunner in developing naval ship plate for construction of hull of warships. For this product, the company has been approved by the Directorate of Naval Architecture (DNA). The company has successfully supplied these grades for construction of a naval and coast guard vessels to several public sector and private sector yards in the country. In the ship building sector, the company has received accreditations from various class societies.
Addressing the requirement of armour steel plate from the private sector for wide ranging applications, Essar Steel has developed its brand of armoured plates ARMAPRO with customised properties to meet the various threat levels required by the end customers.
Manufacturing of armour plates require control over the raw ingredients that are used, combined with the tight control of the production process, including the rapid quench system. This steel has been tested against various threats as per international protection standards in reputed labs.
Going forward, the company has developed new steel grades for critical land defence and naval defence systems. The company’s forte lies in meeting the stringent metallurgical conditions required, achieving the required combination of high strength and toughness, good welding, excellent fatigueand weather resistance properties. Its exceptional high corrosion resistant and fungal resistant properties enable Essar Steel plates to withstand the severemarine conditions. These indigenous developments pave the way for exports of these special steels thereby aiding India in earning precious foreign exchange.
Essar is focusing on the defence segment to target high value added plates apart from normal structural steels used for engineering constructions. In the last few years, Essar product range of plates include high wear and abrasion resistance steels for earth moving vessels, advanced high strength and ultra-tough steels for building war ships and special class of steels for ballistic applications.
Essar Steel is a fully integrated flat carbon steel manufacturer – from iron ore to ready-to-market products – with a current capacity of 10 MTPA. Essar Steel’s manufacturing facility comprises ore beneficiation, pellet making, iron making, steel making, and downstream facilities including cold rolling mill, galvanising, pre-coated facility, steel processing facility, extra wide plate mill and a pipe mill.