BENGALURU: DEFENCE PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) will supply over 8 lakh Voter-verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units to go with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to the Election Commission of India by September 2018. This is in addition to around 8 lakh units which the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) will supply.
Speaking to reporters after announcing BEL’s annual results on Wednesday, company CMD M V Gowtama said work on developing VVPAT units is in progress.
“The price that we will be getting is `1,300 crore without taxes, freight and insurance and `1,500 crore with taxes,” he said.
The cabinet had in April sanctioned `3,171 crore to procure VVPAT units. The function of the units is to generate receipts after voting to ensure that the EVMs have not been tampered with.
QR-SAM weapon system
The Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air-Missile (QR-SAM) weapon system, which is being jointly developed by BEL, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL), would be ready for trial by early 2018, Gowtama said. The company board has approved `274 crore towards the project.
“It is progressing very well. Probably we will go for trial early next year,” he said, adding that BEL was looking at more than `2,500 crore worth R&D programmes, in various stages of development, over the next three years.
The Akash New Generation (NG) medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defence system would be ready for trials by 2019. The next model would take another 24 months to complete, Gowtama said.
BEL has offered Akash weapon system to many friendly countries. The company is also extending its capabilities to upgrade these countries’ existing sub-systems. He added, “These countries require weapon systems which we were not exporting earlier. They also require upgradation of existing weaponry.”