Munitions India Ltd, the public sector bomb-maker, says its products are in great demand abroad. It has export orders worth ₹6,000 crore, to be supplied over the next three years.

The Pune-headquartered company, which was formed in November 2021 when the Ordnance Factory Board was reorganised into seven Defence PSUs, produces bullets, shells, mortars, rockets and hand grenades at its 12 manufacturing units.

“Every country needs ammunition,” Gnaneshwar Tyagi, Chief General Manager, High Energy Projectile Factory, MIL, told businessline today, adding that among the leading overseas customers are the UAE, Vietnam “and one European country” which he did not wish to name.

“They (MIL) are sitting on a gold mine,” said P. S. Unni Raj, Joint Director, Export Promotion Cell, Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence. Tyagi and Raj participated in the ‘International Engineering Sourcing Show’ organised in Coimbatore by the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC).

The outreach programme aims to sensitise MSMEs about the possibility of supplying to the Defence.

Rs 20,000 crore in 2023-24

Raj said India’s exports of defence products would cross ₹20,000 crore in 2023-24 to touch ₹25,000 crore in 2024-25, and ₹35,000 crore in the following year. A presentation by Dr Sanjeev Kumar Joshi, Deputy DEO, Brahmos Aerospace, showed that Defence exports in 2013 were ₹1,050 crore. Joshi, who was present at the EEPC meet, told businessline that India’s Brahmos missiles were in demand all over the world. It was the only cruise missile that was supersonic throughout its flight; others have sub-sonic durations , when they can be intercepted.

While the Phillipines has been in the news lately as a buyer of Brahmos missiles, countries in the MENA region, Latin America and South-East Asia were also interested in buying the missile.

India’s imports-to-exports ratio for defence products has fallen. Imports increased from ₹41,198 crore in 2013-14 to ₹50,061 crore in 2021-22, but exports rose from ₹1,153 crore to ₹12,815 crore, in the same period. In 2013-14, imports were 35 times exports; in comparison, imports were 4 times exports in 2021-22.

Tyagi said MIL would start producing the 125-mm ‘mango’ tank shells, which are capable of piercing a 600mm thick tank skin. The Mango shells are produced in India under licence from Russian armament major Techmash. MIL would produce 6,000 units at its plant in Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu, he said. MIL, he said, was a major procurer of materials from MSMEs — last year it bought₹1,000 crore worth of material from 2,000 MSMEs. The Mango tank shells would need ₹150 crore worth of MSME material.

MIL achieved a turnover of ₹4,200 crore in 2022-23, which is expected to touch ₹7,000 crore in the current financial year and ₹10,000 crore in the next, Tyagi said.