India Year Book – Defence Undertakings

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In this post we will look at the various Defence undertakings that come under the Ministry of Defence. This information is based on India 2016. Read the India Year Book 2016 review.

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL)

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) came into existence on 1st October 1964. The Company was formed by the merger of Hindustan Aircraft Limited with Aeronautics India Limited. HAL is a Navratna company and a premier aeronautical complex of South Asia. HAL has so far designed, developed and manufactured 15 types of aircraft/helicopters. In addition, co-development of 5th Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and multi-role transport aircraft has been taken up with Russian partners. HAL has recently diversified its business into manufacturing and repair/overhaul of Industrial and Marine Gas Turbine engines and manufacture of structures for aerospace vehicles.

Headquarters: Bangalore

Other manufacturing plants: Nasik, Korwa, Kanpur, Koraput, Lucknow, Bangalore and Hyderabad

Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL)

Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) is a Navratna PSU, which was established at Bangalore in 1954. BEL ranks 69th among the top 100 companies worldwide in defence revenues. The company has core competencies in areas of radars and fire control systems, weapon systems, sonars, communication, network centric systems, electronic warfare systems, electro optics and tank electronics etc. In the non-defence area, BEL manufactures Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), Tablet PCs, Integrated Circuits, semiconductor devices, solar cells etc.

Headquarters: Bangalore


The following 4 are the leading shipyards under the Ministry of Defence.

Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd

Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) is a leading shipyard and has expertise of building a wide array of vessels, from world-class Frigates to Fast Interceptor Boats. Founded in 1884 as a small privately owned company on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River, it was renamed as Garden Reach Workshop in 1916. The company was nationalised by the Government of India in 1960. It was awarded the Miniratna status, with accompanying financial and operational autonomy in September 2006.

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Headquarters: Kolkata

Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL)

Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) was established in 1957, originally by the colonial government of the Portuguese in India, as the “Estaleiros Navais de Goa” [1], to build barges to be used in Goa’s growing mining industry, which took off after the establishment of India’s blockade of Goa in 1955. In the wake of Portugal’s defeat and unconditional surrender to India following the invasion of Goa by the Indian Armed Forces in 1961, it was requisitioned to manufacture warships for the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard. It has been awarded Miniratna status by the govt.

Headquarters: Goa

Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL)

Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) is a shipyard located in Visakhapatnam on the east coast of India. In 2009, HSL was transferred from the Ministry of Shipping to the Ministry of Defence. The yard played a critical role in the development of nuclear-powered, Arihant class submarine.

Headquarters: Visakhapatnam

Mazagaon Dock Ltd (MDL)

MDL is a Mini Ratna company and is India’s premier shipyard, specializing in construction of warships of various sizes and classes, submarines, other technologically advanced commercial vessels and offshore platforms/drilling rigs. It was nationalised in 1960. Presently, the yard is constructing Scorpene submarines and missile destroyers for the Indian Navy. Its other projects include Kolkata and Delhi class destroyers, Nilgiri, Godavari and Shivalik class frigates, Khukri class corvettes and Shishumar class submarines.

Headquarters: Mumbai


BEML Ltd established in 1964, is a Mini Ratna Category-I multi-location, multi-product company engaged in design, manufacturing, marketing and after sales service of a wide range of equipment to three distinct business segments i.e.,Defence, Mining & Construction, Rail & Metro. BEML has manufacturing plants in Kolar Gold Fields, Bengaluru, Palakkad and Mysore.

Headquarters: Bangalore

Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL)

Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) is a Mini Ratna Category-I company, incorporated in the year 1970. BDL is a pioneer in the manufacture of Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs). It is now manufacturing ATGMs of later generations, surface-to-air weapon systems, strategic weapons, launchers, under water weapons, decoys and test equipment. BDL is producing konkurs-M and Invar (3BK-20) ATGMs in collaboration with Russia and Milan-2T in collaboration with France. It is also manufacturing Surface-to-Air Akash missiles and C-303 Anti-Torpedo Counter Measure Systems.

Headquarters: Hyderabad

Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd (MIDHANI)

Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI) was set up in 1976 at Hyderabad with the objective of providing the nation self reliance in strategic materials. For over three decades now,MIDHANI has been handling challenging tasks of developing alloys, taking a lead position in indigenization of critical technologies and products to render support to several programmes of National importance and hi-tech segments of India industry like Light Combat Aircraft, MBT Arjun, PSLV, GSLV etc. It is a Category-I Mini Ratna company.

Headquarters: Hyderabad

Sources: India 2016 and Wikipedia

Note: If you wish to test yourself against questions on UPSC pattern, check out IAS Kracker’s Online Test Series.

Reference Books for IAS

GS Solved Papers
General Studies Manual
Manorama Year Book
Oxford Student Atlas
Science and Technology

Topic-wise Books for IAS

Indian Polity Laxmikanth
Ecology and Environment
India's Struggle for Independence
Brief History of Modern India
Indian Art and Culture
Certificate Course in Geography


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