State-run BHEL is working with the government on plans to identify a technology partner for manufacture of defence equipment including making bigger guns for the Navy.
BHEL, which is all set to become a Maharatna company, is already manufacturing guns for the Indian Navy.
“We are working with the Defence Ministry to identify a technology partner for increasing the size of the gun (for) other areas also, we are working with the Defence Ministry, they have identified BHEL for other areas,” BHEL Chairman and Managing Director B.P Rao said.
Without disclosing specific details, he emphasised that defence sector is a major diversification area for BHEL.
According to Rao, about two years ago, the company was nominated by the Defence Ministry for some defence products.
“We have already been manufacturing some products for defence. We have been identified by the Defence (Ministry) as an agency which is nominated for some of the products, which means they will take it only from BHEL (nominated agency),” he said.
Once nominated for a particular product, the Ministry would ask technology providers to tie up with BHEL, Rao said.
The increased focus on defence segment comes against the backdrop of the company facing challenges in the power business, the mainstay of the state-run major.
Multiple power sector woes, varying from lack of finances to land acquisition issues and fuel shortages, are affecting the overall business performance of BHEL.
Apart from defence, the public sector enterprise is also focusing on transportation, renewables, among other areas.
In the last fiscal, the company raked in a net profit of Rs 7,040 crore on a turnover of Rs 49,510 crore.