India Green Lights Commercial Production of Light Steel for Armored Vehicles
This will cut down the delays in armament projects as the lightweight steel will be made in the country as opposed to relying on imports earlier.
New Delhi (Sputnik) – The Indian government has granted license to private steel company Jindal Stainless to manufacture High Nitrogen Steel (HNS) which is used in building Main Battle Tank and other armed forces vehicles. This is the first time a private firm has won the license to make HNS, and is a major boost to India indigenous capabilities.
The use of high-nitrogen steel will replace the existing import of Rolled Homogeneous Armor (RHA), resulting in improved cost efficiency in material acquisition for armor applications by 50 per cent," said a Jindal Steel statement, after signing the license agreement with the DRDO.
Production of HNS in India will expedite the indigenization process and the manufacturing process as import procurement often delays the production of lighter armor vehicles. HNS has potential application in all armored vehicles including Infantry Combat Vehicle, Light Specialty Vehicle, Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle, Main Battle Tank, Future Ready Combat Vehicle and aviation and naval systems. It could be used very effectively in helicopters and naval boats where protection is required against AK-47 shells, 7.62 ball, 7.62 armor-piercing, 12.7 armor-piercing projectiles etc.
"HNS is not only tough but also has good strength. In addition to being non-magnetic as well as corrosion resistant, the cost of HNS is about 40 per cent less compared to Rolled Homogenous Armor Steel. Very few countries in the world have developed this technology of HNS," said Subhash Bhamre, India's junior defense minister.
India had not inducted its indigenously developed Main Battle Tank Arjun MK 2 as it said the vehicle was too heavy to move quickly in desert and hilly terrain.
Currently, the Indian government is holding consultation with stakeholders for a $15-billion Future Infantry Combat Vehicle project and a new generation combat vehicle platform, the Future Ready Combat Vehicle. HNS can be immensely useful in these projects.
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