By Staff Correspondent
Indian Aerospace & Defence exclusively with V Venkata Raju, Chairman and Managing Director, VEM Technologies. Excerpts From The Interview:
Q. Since VEM Tech’s inception in 1988, the company seems to have become a major player in the Indian defence and aerospace sector. Could you recount the company’s journey for our readers?
Ans: VEM Tech has had quite an exciting journey. From humble beginnings as a firm making high-precision components to becoming a pioneer in the field of systems and systems integration, we have come a long way in 35 years. Today, we boast a team of 1200 people, with over 650 engineers working in various verticals such as design and engineering, advanced systems development, product engineering, manufacturing engineering, quality engineering, and system engineering.
The company is working on a myriad of technology verticals ranging from aero-dynamics, aerostructures, avionics, communications, controls, embedded systems, hi-energetics, inertial systems, instrumentation, metallurgical power electronics, motor tubes and their lining, photonics, pneumo-hydraulics, power and drive systems, pyro-techniques, propulsion systems, robotics, sensors, signal and image processing, thermodynamics, and warheads amongst other critical advanced defence systems.
Due to our diverse areas of functioning, we were also able to serve the nation’s defence and aerospace industry through the provision of products such as state of the art infrastructure and facilities. These include automation for PCBAs, advanced machining centre, Robocontrol wield setup, pressure test setups, and environmental test facilities.
Presently, we have come to a stage in our journey where not only are we associated with several strategic and tactical missile programmes, but one or more VEM’s on-board systems are employed in each and every missile in the country. We have also been recognised as a Category ‘A’ production centre by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, allowing us to produce classified defence products.
Over the years, we have received multiple Defence Industrial Licences based on our many business verticals, capabilities and infrastructure. These include the licences to design and manufacture hard and soft decoys, manufacture unmanned aerial systems (UAS), make explosive filling for missiles and bombs, manufacture artillery guns, helicopters and airplanes specially designed for military applications, assembly, integration and checkout of arms and ammunitions, particularly rockets and missiles, hydraulics, high pressure pneumatics systems and their subsystems, launch control and battle management systems, armament electronics, safety systems and power supplies, guidance and control systems, electronics, avionics and power supplies for rockets and missiles.
We are also set to establish a third facility in Hyderabad, Telangana as ‘VEM Aerocity-A Weapon Integration Complex’. This upcoming facility will have the setup for composite, propellant and explosive filling and NADCAP approved plating and heat treatment facilities.
What continues to make us different-our USP-is in-systems knowledge. This, along with our infrastructure sets us apart from our competitors. We are a company of companies-a design that is not easy to recreate.
Q. In light of your company’s recent association with the Telangana state government, could you elaborate on the impact VEM Tech will have on the Indian aerospace & defence ecosystem and employment generation?
Ans: Just last year, VEM Technologies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Telangana government to set up an integrated defence systems facility at Yelgoi. The signing happened in the presence of prominent figures such as former DRDO chairman G. Satheesh Reddy, IT and Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao, Niti Aayog member V.K. Saraswat, TS Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (TSIIC) VC and MD E.V. Narasimha Reddy and IT secretary Jayesh Ranjan. The plan is to invest about Rs 1,000 crore in this facility over the course of the next four to five years. In terms of employment generation, we expect this move to create more than 2,000 jobs.
We had to get the land allotment for 511 acres done first. After that, in December 2021, we began work on this expansion. VEM Tech now has weapons, aerostructures integration, and radar systems making facilities here. Our contribution to the development of the Indian aerospace and defence ecosystem will also come from our engine-related infrastructure, manufacturing facility, and metallurgical processes. We are expecting these to attract a large portion of our investments in this facility. The project will be fully commissioned by 2026.
The existing defence ecosystem in Hyderabad has helped us quite a lot. VEM already has two manufacturing facilities present here. There is a clear logistical advantage to set up a new unit here as the city is a defence hub. Moreover, we found the Telangana government to be quite proactive during our hunt for a location for our integrated defence systems facility.