Jindal Stainless (Hisar) signs License Agreement with DRDO

The stainless steel maker signed a licence agreement with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to help manufacture high nitrogen steel and becomes the first company in India to commercially produce high nitrogen steel. Jindal Stainless (Hisar) stocks spikes 4% on new agreement with DRDO

HISAR: Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited, country’s largest integrated stainless steel producer, on Wednesday announced its entry into the defence sector by signing the license agreement with Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) for manufacturing high nitrogen steel (HNS) for armour applications.

With this, Jindal Stainless becomes India’s first company to commercially manufacture high nitrogen steel for the defence sector under the transfer of technology from DRDO. The use of HNS will replace the existing import of Rolled Homogenous Armour (RHA), thereby resulting in improved cost efficiency in material acquisition for armour applications by 50 per cent, the company said in a statement.

The company is a comprehensive joint effort, and almost a decade of research and development by JSHL and Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) to develop HNS. This major development will not only accelerate the indigenization process of Indian defence arsenal in line with government’s ‘Make in India’ drive but will also help in easy availability of best material for manufacturing lighter armour vehicles, as import procurement often delays the manufacturing process.

High Nitrogen Steel is corrosion resistant and provides exceptional ballistic/blast protection than the existing material at a much reduced thickness along with longevity which increases the fuel and mass efficiency. HNS exhibits higher energy absorption level, enhances crashworthiness to the entire artillery system and has significantly higher impact values (> 200 Joules at room temperature and > 150 Joules at -40C) as compared to RHA which make HNS a far superior material for blast protection. HNS has passed multiple levels of ballistic tests in different calibers with 8-10 times higher impact/blast protection.

HNS has potential application in all armoured vehicles including Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV), Light Specialty Vehicle (LSV), Light Armoured Multipurpose Vehicle (LAMV), Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV), Main Battle Tank (MBT), Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV), Aviation and Naval systems. JSHL is also working to produce additional variants of HNS with enhanced blast and ballistic protection to cater to niche requirements of the Indian Defence sector.

Abhyuday Jindal, Vice Chairman, Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited, said, “We believe HNS will immensely benefit the Indian defence sector, going forward. The hard-work and perseverance of 10 years of JSHL with Ministry of Defence has culminated in a fantastic result for the country in line with PM’s vision of Make in India.”

HNS is manufactured at JSHL unit at Hisar with triplex refining route and manufacturing process has already been optimized for industry scale production to cater to stringent and niche requirements of Indian defence and paramilitary forces. JSHL and DMRL together have developed the Quality Assurance Plan for the High Nitrogen Steel to ensure consistent quality to meet the future demand of HNS.

Jindal Stainless (Hisar) is India’s first stainless steel manufacturing unit. JSHL has its operations integrated, both backward and forward, starting from melting, casting, hot rolling to cold rolling and other value additions. JSHL has a melt capacity of 8,00,000 TPA, one of the largest in India. It is also the world’s largest producer of stainless steel strips for razor blades and India’s largest producer of coin blanks, serving the needs of Indian and international mints.

Shares of Jindal Stainless (Hisar) rose over 4 percent intraday on Wednesday as investors cheered the company’s new agreement with the country’s defence body. The stainless steel maker entered into a licence agreement with the DRDO entails transfer of technology to manufacture high nitrogen steel (HNS) for Armour applications, according to a notification filed to the exchanges by the firm.

The company claims that the use of HNS will replace Armour steel, an existing material which is mostly imported. This, it says, will result into 50 percent cost efficiency in material acquisition. “This development reaffirms our endeavour to achieve higher benchmarks. We look forward to collaborate with Ministry of Defence to achieve greater efficacy of Indian armed forces and then take forward our capabilities,” said Abyuday Jindal, vice-chairman, Jindal Stainless (Hisar).

The company’s management is optimistic on the deal and sees defence opportunity at 30,000-40,000 tonnes in 3-4 years. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Abhyuday Jindal, vice chairman, Jindal Stainless (Hisar) said that steel volumes will increase by 10-15 percent this year. Its capacity utilization currently stands at 100 percent. Additionally, Jindal expected margins for the current year to be at 12-15 percent.

At 12:12 hrs, the stock was quoting at Rs 116.00, up Rs 1.40, or 1.22 percent, on the BSE. It touched a 52-week high of Rs 119.50.

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