When it comes to national, military, naval, border security, and aerospace defence, indigenously developed defence and offence systems, technologies, and weapons should be a priority – if India wishes to be self-reliant in the future to manage global escalating geo-political space.
The mission is urgent and immense, thus needs efforts from both public and private organizations – especially private organisations like Shivayu Aerospace & Defence Pvt Ltd – the second Aerospace & Defence start-up established by Gp Capt ER Rajappan (Retd), in pursuit of India’s efforts to design and manufacture aerospace and defence equipment and parts under MAKE IN INDIA and to enhance country’s capacity to make parts for; aircraft, satellite, radar, missile, airborne and early warning control system, battle tank and naval ship door etc. The company’s promoter is a highly acclaimed and experienced; Aviation, Aerospace and Defence expert with more than three decades of experience in the Indian Air Force, the United Nations and the Centre for Air Power Studies. His stint in the Centre for Air Power Studies exposed him to the state-of-the-art aerospace and defence equipment being used by the Armed
Forces of the developed nations and how innovative tactics enabled some developing countries like India to pit against some of the highly developed nations like the USA, with 4 and 4.5 generation military hardware. He has painstakingly carried out a gap analysis and realised that India has the capability and the wherewithal to design and manufacture cutting-edge weapons and delivery platforms for the Indian Armed Forces by integrating the infrastructure of the Indian defence industries – both public and private, as well as the academia.
Indigenization and Up gradation of Indian Military Hardware
Much of the equipment of the Indian Armed Forces is foreign make and old; therefore, getting the spare parts for keeping these pieces of equipment in operational condition has become very difficult as the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have started manufacturing advanced versions of these types of equipment. Therefore, the vintage pieces of equipment of the Armed Forces must be kept operational through indigenization. Shivayu Aerospace & Defence Pvt Ltd sees this as a great opportunity for the design and manufacturing of parts of legacy equipment of the Indian Armed Forces. Shivayu Aerospace, in collaboration with its cluster partners, can design and manufacture many types of high-precision; mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic assemblies for the vintage fleet of the Army, Navy and Air Force and thereby contribute towards enhancing the operational preparedness of the services. In the past, Shivayu Aerospace has significantly contributed towards indigenizing many parts of; satellites, battle tanks, radars and naval ships etc. In the coming years, Shivayu Aerospace has plans to design and manufacture; battery-powered advanced air mobility platforms – both rotary and fixed-wing, complex mechanical assemblies of aircraft and defence equipment.
The Hawk’s Flight
Shivayu Aerospace & Defence Pvt Ltd currently offers high-precision machined parts for aircraft, helicopters, radar, satellites and other defence equipment, conforming to global standards. In future, the company plans to design and manufacture high-precision parts for; electric vehicles, oil and gas equipment, medical equipment, food equipment, agricultural equipment, electronic and aviation housing etc. Another vertical of the company is aviation consulting and airport design and construction.
Leveraging three decades of experience, as an expert in aviation and airport management, the company can offer the design and construction of green airports and heliports pan India as part of UDAN – regional connectivity. Battery-powered Advanced Short Haul Air Mobility for All (ASHA) is another project the company is enthusiastically pursuing.
The Indian aviation industry is poised for robust growth, buoyed by rapid economic growth and a burgeoning middle class. Battery-powered short and medium-haul air mobility platforms hold great future for last-mile connectivity to metro airports and fast connectivity between Metropolia and other cities.
In the Gulf and Western countries, battery-powered Urban Air Mobility (UAM) platforms, both rotary and fixed-wing (eVTOL and VTOL), which are pollution-free and cost-effective, are becoming popular. In the coming years, Indian Flyers will also prefer these UAMs for intra and intercity transportation, and this will lead to mass-scale production of UAMs in India, and Shivayu Aerospace would like to be the pioneer in this field.
All Hail the Captain
Gp Capt ER Rajappan (Retd), having worked in the Indian Air Force for many decades and with a clear understanding of state-of-the-art aerospace and defence equipment of developed countries and the technology gaps in the inventory of Indian Armed Forces, is driven by the passion for designing and manufacturing high precision mechanical components for the legacy equipment and future military hardware and aerial systems. The promoter’s knowledge and expertise in aircraft, helicopters, drones, missiles, radars, battle tanks, naval ships and airborne early warning and control systems – can be gainfully leveraged in the design and manufacturing of parts for these platforms indigenously. With his decades of experience of the promoter in aviation and airport management – the company can provide cost-effective stop solutions for the design and development of international airports, greenfield airports and heliports. Currently, Shivayu Aerospace is providing consultancy to Karnataka Industrial Development Corporation to develop the second international airport in Bangalore.
Gp Capt ER Rajappan (Retd) is; a thinker, ideator, author, international speaker and a defence analyst. He was also on the faculty of the Centre for Air Power Studies in New Delhi, India’s only think tank developing new tactics and strategies for air and space warfare. His deep knowledge of aerial and aerospace warfare enables him to design cost-effective state-of-the-art defence equipment and their subsystems. Shivayu Aerospace has already produced many parts for; satellites, radar, battle tanks, naval ships, etc. The company wants to expand its product base for all three services in the coming years.
AI and ML Laced Warfare
Being an experienced defence expert and military hardware technology, he is very focused and candid in sharing his opinion on how the adoption of modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI and Machine Learning (ML) are impacting today’s defence sector and how Shivayu Aerospace is adapting to the changes, Gp Capt ER Rajappan (Retd) says that “in the future, the outcome of the wars will be based more on Beyond Visual Range (BVR) weapons and AI embedded weapon delivery platforms. Tomorrow’s military hardware will do what comes naturally to humans through the application of Machine Learning.
The Armed Forces of developed counties have developed and operationalized AI and ML-based weapons and delivery platforms. Besides autonomous; aircraft, helicopters, and tanks – humanoid soldiers will dot the future battlefield. Therefore, the Indian Armed Forces must adopt AI and ML-based weapons and weapon delivery platforms to fight future wars. The war strategies and tactics must be revamped to be relevant and effective on the battlefield. Shivayu Aerospace is fully seized with the emerging trends in designing and manufacturing future military hardware and aerial platforms. Shivayu Aerospace is already part of the drone manufacturing ecosystem and the company now wants to design and develop battery-powered short-haul air mobility platforms (eVTOl and STOL) for intra-city and intercity travel.
Slaying the Challenges
According to him, speaking about the challenges, as a fall out of the pandemic, there is a stagnation in the aerospace sector in India and worldwide. In contrast, the defence sector in India is booming because of the shift in the policy of Govt India – to design and manufacture all military hardware indigenously. Designing and manufacturing state-of-the-art defence equipment and parts is daunting due to the non-availability of technology and funding. Design and development of niche technology defence equipment and weapons are highly capital intensive and with a long gestation period to make the business break even. Hence, Shivayu Aerospace is partnering with other aerospace and defence companies for the co-development of aerospace and defence equipment.
In Pursuit of ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT
His advice to budding professionals aspiring to venture into the aerospace and defence solutions sector, is that the Indian Aerospace and Defence sectors are poised for rapid growth in the coming years. Engineers with deep knowledge of Industry 4.0, AI and ML have the edge over others in seizing business opportunities in the aerospace and defence industry. Anyone interested in becoming an entrepreneur to manufacture aerospace and defence equipment or parts must learn about the new manufacturing process, the latest software, global quality standards and the market in India and abroad. There are various Performance Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes being offered by the Govt of India, which the aerospace and defence entrepreneurs could avail for part funding. Working as an internee in well-established aerospace and defence companies, both public and private, for at least three months would
enable them to understand the nuances of running aerospace and defence companies. In addition, they should take the services of business consultants to plan a sustainable and scalable business model.
Technoscopic Super-Advanced Future Vision
On envisioning and scaling Shivayu’s operations and offerings in the future, he said that much of Shivayu Aerospace’s revenue comes from contract manufacturing of aerospace and defence components. In the coming years, the company will focus on designing and manufacturing aerospace and defence equipment/ parts, for which the design and manufacturing infrastructure of the company are being enhanced through organic growth and debt funding. Battery-powered short-haul air mobility platforms, both rotary and fixed-wing, are the future offering of the company.
Shivayu Aerospace and Defence Pvt Ltd is just one and a half years old, and as of now the company’s
main business production of Pawl Assembly for a major aircraft OEM in the USA. In addition, the company is also manufacturing high-precision parts for satellite communication, defence and food equipment.
Though the company is new, it has made a name in the Aerospace and Defence industry sector for its quality and on-time delivery. The company’s promoter is often invited to deliver talks at international and national seminars on Aerospace, Aviation and Defence. His innovative solutions and path breaking ideas for creating a sustainable aerospace and defence manufacturing ecosystem are well appreciated by industry experts in India and abroad.
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