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Saturday, 17 January 2015

Keltron Controls in the red as defence orders dip - Kocchi

Has defence orders for just Rs.3 crore

It’s a catch-22 situation for the public sector Keltron Controls at Aroor, near here.

The division of Keltron, which sought to make its footprint in defence manufacturing with sonar array technology developed by the DRDO-lab Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), is now contemplating bagging some civil orders to keep its finances in shape.

Handheld by the NPOL into the sector, as it has several other industries in various parts of the State, Keltron Controls bagged orders to the tune of Rs.12.5 crore in the last fiscal for manufacture of towed arrays for the towed array sonar system that was being developed by the laboratory.

This added to the turnover of the firm, which was Rs.42 crore.

However, with the Navy staying shy of acquiring the systems — Nagan and now, the Altas (advanced light towed array sonar) — Keltron Controls has defence orders for just Rs.3 crore in its kitty in the current fiscal.

“The Navy has floated a global tender for procurement of the advanced tower array sonar and if an Indian system gets selected, we might get the orders to manufacture the arrays,” sources said.

The dip in defence orders has shrunk the order book value of Keltron Controls to less than Rs.30 crore.

“We would have to look at the civil sector, especially specialised equipment for the physically challenged. We have been traditionally making actuators for power plants, but with the coal industry going into limbo following the scam, there were no orders for that as well. We now hope to get some orders for actuators as well,” the source said.

Source: The Hindu, 14th Jan 2015

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