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Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited (JSHL), country’s largest integrated stainless steel producer has announced its entry into the defence sector by signing the license agreement with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which entails transfer of technology for manufacturing high nitrogen steel (HNS) for armour applications. The agreement was signed in the presence of Minister of State for Defence, Dr Subhash Bhamre, and Abhyuday Jindal, Vice Chairman, JSHL. With this, JSHL now becomes India’s first company to commercially manufacture high nitrogen steel for the defence sector. 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.
It is a comprehensive joint effort, and almost a decade of R&D by JSHL and Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) to develop HNS. This major development will not only accelerate the indigenisation 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. HNS 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 -40°C) as compared to RHA which make HNS a far superior material for blast protection. HNS has passed multiple levels of ballistic tests in different calibres 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 multi-purpose 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.
HNS is manufactured at JSHL’s state-of-the-art facility at Hisar with triplex refining route and manufacturing process has already been optimised for industry scale production to cater to stringent and niche requirements of Indian defence and paramilitary forces. JSHL and DMRL together have developed the auality assurance plan for the HNS to ensure consistent quality in production to meet the future demand of HNS.