Tanzania could be India’s next defense customer; Key Delegation Visits Bharat Dynamics to Strengthen Military Ties

An East African country could become the next foreign customer for Indian arms. A delegation from Tanzania, led by the country’s Minister of Defence, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, visited the manufacturing facilities of Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) on August 29.

The Minister was accompanied by senior officials from the Tanzanian Armed Forces, the Indian Defense Advisor accredited to Tanzania and officials from the Indian Ministry of Defence.

The Tanzanian delegation was briefed on the products BDL offers for export, including “Anti-Tank Guided Missiles, Surface-to-Air Missiles, Underwater Weapons, Countermeasures Delivery System, Drone Delivered Bombs and drone-delivered missiles,” according to the company’s press release.

Commodore Siddharth Mishra (Retd), CMD, BDL, said the visit will further enhance defense cooperation between India and Tanzania and give a boost to fulfillment of various export orders for the company .

In addition to BDL’s products, an exhibition of products and equipment from other public defense sector companies (PSU), private industry and start-ups was also held at BDL.

Weapons offered for export to Tanzania

Anti-tank guided missiles

BDL is known for offering three anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), namely the Milan 2T, the Konkurs-M and the Nag.

The Milan 2T and Konkurs-M are second-generation ATGMs produced by BDL under European license MBDA Missile Systems and a Russian original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

The Milan 2T can be launched from ground and airborne launchers, and the Konkurs-M can also be launched from ground launchers and a BMP-II tank. The Milan 2T has a range of 1850 meters, while the Konkurs-M covers a range between 75 and 4000 meters with a flight time of 19 seconds.

BDL products on display, including Milan-2T, Nag and Konkur-M ATGMs (Twitter)

Nag is a third-generation, all-weather, locally developed ATGM in both land and air versions. When launched from the ground, the missile can hit targets up to a range of four kilometers, while its strike range, when launched from an air platform, is seven kilometers.

The above ATGMs can be deployed against mobile or stationary armored vehicles equipped with explosive reactive armor (ERA).

Surface-to-air missiles

Surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) offered by BDL include the Akash missile system and the medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM).

The Akash is a mid-range all-weather SAM system developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization of India (DRDO).

The whole system consists of a launcher, a control center, an integrated mission guidance system, an arming and explosion mechanism, a multifunctional fire control radar and a digital autopilot. It also has command, control, communications and intelligence (C4I) centers.

Tanzanian Defense Minister Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax looks at a model of the Akash missile at BDL (BDL)

Each Akash battery comes with four three-dimensional passive electronically scanned array radars (PESA) and four self-propelled launchers. Each of the launchers has three missiles, with all the missiles being interconnected. The battery itself also has a control center and a battery level radar called Rajendra.

The missiles can carry conventional or nuclear warheads weighing up to 60 kilograms and destroy targets within a radius of 30 to 35 kilometers. Additionally, missiles can be launched from static or mobile platforms, including combat and wheeled tanks.

Akash missile systems can engage multiple targets simultaneously and destroy maneuvering targets such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), cruise missiles, missiles launched from helicopters, and combat aircraft.

The missiles can fly at supersonic speeds ranging from Mach 2.8 to 3.5 and are said to have a kill probability of 88%, rising to 98.5% by launching the second missile five seconds after launching the first.

The MRSAM is a land-based version of the Barak-8 missile developed by the Indian DRDO in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

MRSAM (Twitter)

It can travel at supersonic speeds and engage multiple targets simultaneously at ranges of 70 kilometers.

The MRSAM can be deployed against various aerial threats such as missiles, aircraft, guided bombs and helicopters.

underwater weapons

BDL also produces a light torpedo called Torpedo Advanced Lightweight (TAL) and a heavy torpedo called Varunastra. Both torpedoes are being developed locally by India’s Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL).

Torpedoes are electrically propelled, and while the Varunastra can only be launched from a ship, the TAL can be launched from both a ship and a helicopter. The TAL has a range of 19 kilometers, a maximum speed of 61.1 kilometers per hour and an operating depth of 450 meters. The torpedo can carry a warhead weighing 50 kilograms.

Varunastra (Twitter)

While the Varunastra has a range of 40 kilometers, can move at speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour and dive to a maximum depth of 400 meters. It can carry a warhead weighing 250 kilograms.

Drone Launched Weapons

In May 2022, BDL exhibited an armed quadcopter drone during the Bharat Drone Mahotsav 2022. Along with the quadcopter, the company exhibited the semi-active laser-guided missile launched by drone JISNU-M of two types, one of 1 kilogram and the other weighing 3.5 kg.

Apart from this, the BDL drone can also be armed with an anti-armour missile with superior attack capability that can engage targets at a maximum range of 1 kilometer.

Additionally, at last year’s Dubai Airshow, the company showcased a one-kilogram class drone-launched bomb fitted with a 730g impact-activated controlled fragmentation warhead. The bomb is 65 mm caliber with a length of 325 mm.

A 1.5 kilogram precision-guided missile can also be launched from a drone. It has a range of one kilometer and uses MEMS-IMU for mid-course guidance and the end-stage semi-active laser guidance system.

The missile is armed with a 300g Multi-Purpose Anti-Material Anti-Material Anti-Personnel (HEAT + HEF) warhead that can be used to strike troop concentrations or soft-skinned vehicles.

India, Tanzania Security cooperation

The Tanzanian Defense Minister’s latest visit to India comes after India’s Deputy National Security Adviser Vikram Misri visited Tanzania in May to boost defense ties with the West African nation. the East, which has a long coastline along the Indian Ocean Strategic Region (IOR), where India is seen as an internet security provider.

During his visit, Misri discussed a security partnership with senior Tanzanian leaders, which included enhanced maritime security cooperation and the export of Indian defense products to meet defense needs. from Tanzania.

Besides visiting BDL manufacturing plants, the Tanzanian Defense Minister also had bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh.

The two sides agreed to set up a working group to prepare a five-year “future roadmap” to strengthen defense cooperation between the two countries and hold the next joint defense cooperation meeting. defense in Tanzania.

Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh meets Tanzanian Defense Minister Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax (Twitter)

The Indian Defense Minister has also invited his Tanzanian counterpart to the India-Africa Defense Dialogue and DefExpo, which will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, from 18-22 October 2022.

India is aiming to raise its security profile in the Western Indian Ocean and East Africa region, under which New Delhi seeks to enhance defense cooperation with Tanzania in the context of China’s growing inroads into the IOR.

In June, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan announced the decision to relaunch a Beijing-backed Bagamoyo port project in the country, which had been stalled for years due to Tanzania’s frustration with conditions presented by China. .

Reports suggest that Tanzania’s decision to relaunch the port project with China has created a potential headache for New Delhi, as there are fears that Beijing could use the port for military purposes and project energy into the area. western Indian Ocean, where almost 60% of India’s trade comes from.

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