AIMS 2014: Conference on “Approach to Integrated Maritime Systems” at Chennai (2 of 2)

by OldSailor on October 15, 2014



A conference on “Approach to Integrated Maritime Systems” (AIMS 2014) was hosted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and National Maritime Foundation (NMF) at Hotel Hilton, Chennai on 09th, 10th October 2014. Day 1 proceedings are available here. Here is the Day 2 proceedings.

Day 2 – 10th October 2014:

Panel Discussion IV: Technology, System and Equipment

Topics discussed and the Chairman, Speakers are:

  • Chairman: Mr RK Mohanty, Chief Executive Officer, Orient Ship Services Pvt Ltd.
  • Propulsion Equipment: by Mr Nishant Priyadarshi, General Manager – Marketing, Walchandnagar Industries Ltd.
  • Challenges of Indigenisation Marine Equipment: by Commander Chetan Sharma (Retd), DGM – D&E, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd.
  • Alternate Chemistry Batteries for Military Maritime Equipment: by Mr HB Murali, Head – Marketing, High Energy Batteries (India) Ltd.


Propulsion Equipment

  • Walchandnagar Industries Ltd (WIL) is a live example for the present government’s ‘Make in India’ concept.AIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_31
  • WIL is the first to manufacture
    • Main propulsion gear boxes for Indian built Navy Frigates.
    • Major critical components for the first Indian built Nuclear Submarine INS Arihant.
  • WIL has supplied indigenously developed gearboxes for Submarine Projects for the Indian Navy.
  • WIL has supplied gearboxes for Anti Submarine Warfare Corvettes for the Indian Navy by a tie – up with DCNS France.
  • WIL has supplied gear boxes for Survey Vessels, Fleet Tankers, LSTs of the Indian Navy.

Challenges of Indigenisation Marine Equipment

  • Repercussions of Imported Platforms in the Indian Navy
    • Spares have to be stocked.
    • Look for substitutes in local market.
    • High cost of imported spares has to be considered.
    • Assessment of consumption pattern is needed.
    • Support from foreign OEM’s below expectations due to
      • Product Obsolescence.
      • Inadequate Repair Documentation.
      • No Direct Contact with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
      • Sanctions.
    • Support from Local OEMs – Just a Call Away.
    • Only Solution – Indigenise.
  • Shipyard PerspectiveAIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_32
    • Vendor Base to be created.
    • Large Transactions in Foreign Exchange.
    • Quality of Foreign OEM Products.
      • Class Certified.
      • Type Tested.
    • Quality of Shipbuilding.
    • Only Solution – Indigenise with Quality.
    • Lack of Competition for Foreign OEMs.
    • 100% Indigenisation in Marine Equipment.
  • Establishments Dealing in Indigenisation Efforts
  • Broad Classification of Indigenisation
    • Transfer of Technology (TOT)
      • DRDO to acquire High-End Technologies.
      • Know-Why Concept.
    • Reverse Engineering – Component Level.
    • Substitutes – Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) Products.
    • R&D
      • Research, Develop & Produce.
      • Private Players.
      • Weapons & Sensors.
  • Conclusion
    • Time, Patience & Large Scale Capital Investment are needed.
    • Strong Support from Political Establishment is necessary.
    • Increased FDI with Focused Approach on Indigenisation is required.
    • Private Industry has to Take Lead.
    • India – has to become an Export Hub of Defence Equipment.
    • Transform India from a ‘Buyer’ to ‘Seller’.
    • Make in India.

Alternate Chemistry Batteries for Military Maritime Equipment

  • High Energy Batteries (HEB) India Ltd has pursued Battery Development for the Indian Navy from the year 1983. AIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_33
  • HEB has the capability to Design & Manufacture various Electro Chemical Power Systems for Military Application.
  • Battery Chemistries
    • Silver Oxide Zinc – used in Exercise/Combat Torpedo.
    • Silver Chloride Magnesium – used in Exercise/Combat Torpedo.
    • Cuprous Chloride Magnesium – used in Combat Torpedo.
    • Nickel Cadmium.
    • Silver Oxide Aluminum.
    • Lithium Ion.
  • HEB is a live example for the present government’s ‘Make in India’ concept.

Open House Discussion

  • Walchandnagar Industries Ltd is not planning to enter Automobile sector but planning to supply gearboxes for metro rail projects.AIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_33A
  • High Energy Batteries is also supplying conventional lead acid battery used for emergency power supplies in the ships.
  • As the demand for commercial shipbuilding in India is decreasing, and if the demand is going to fluctuate, how MSMEs can engage confidently to supply spares/equipment to marine industry?
  • As the defence requirement in marine industry is going to increase, MSMEs can confidently enter this sector.
  • What is the capability of India to manufacture equipment for communication systems, ports etc.,?
  • What is the role of ‘patent’ issues, ‘legal’ issues in the indigenisation process?

Panel Discussion V: Integrated Approach to Research and Development, Skill Development and Capacity Building

  • Chairman: Captain K Vivekanand, Pro Vice Chancellor, Vels University.
  • Integrated Approach to R&D, Skill Development and Capacity Building: by Captain Suresh Bhardwaj, Resident Director, Maritime Training and Research Foundation.
  • Challenges of an Indian Ship Designer: by Mr Vivek Ramnath, Deputy General Manager – Hull, Outfit & FEA, Smart Engineering & Design Solutions Ltd (SEDS).
  • Challenges in Warship Design: by Commodore (Retd) RB Verma, Executive Vice President – R&D, TAFE Ltd.


Integrated Approach to R&D, Skill Development and Capacity Building

  • Maritime Clusters (Blue Denmark is an example) show the way for an Integrated Approach to R&D, Skill Development and Capacity Building.AIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_35
  • Cluster: A population of geographically concentrated and mutually related business units, associations, public, private organisations centered around a distinctive economic specialisation.
  • Economic significance of a Cluster
    • A joint labour pool.
    • A broad supplier and customer base.
    • Knowledge Spillovers.
    • Low transaction costs.
  • Social Dimensions of a Cluster
    • The personal interaction.
    • Frequent Communication.
    • A Sense of Common Identity.
  • Heterogeneity in Cluster
    • Heterogeneous activities make the value of the cluster bigger than the sum of its parts.
    • Leader firms facilitate the growth and beneficial dynamics within a cluster.
  • 18 countries are part of the European Network of Maritime Clusters.

Challenges of an Indian Ship Designer

  • Design – Backbone of Shipbuilding
    • High Time to support and promote Indian Ship Designers.
    • Priority to Indian Designers if they demonstrate knowhow.
    • Indian Designer participation in contracts awarded outside.
    • Indigenisation of design.
    • Need for world class design.AIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_36
    • Investing in design.
  • Research & Development in Design
    • New vessel types.
    • Development of novel hull forms.
    • Innovative concepts.
    • Development of Alternative Design Methods.
    • Design from first principles.
  • Hull & Propeller Development
    • Model Testing in India
      • Non availability of reference data.
      • Towing Tanks available in India are not designed for commercial vessels.
    • Computational Fluid Dynamics (Alternative).
      • Exorbitant cost of software/training.
      • High computing capacity required.
    • Suggested Solution
      • Allow facilities available in India (under government control) to be used by Indian Design Houses, R&D units, Universities etc., through floating licenses at a nominal fee; this can be through an umbrella organisation like NMF.
      • Allow to use existing super computers in India at nominal cost.
  • Defence Contracts
    • State of the art facilities available in India to conduct acoustic, shock, noise, vibration analysis.
    • Many of them under-utilised.
    • Access to facilities limited.
    • Suggestion: Allow private design houses to use the facilities.
  • Lack of Skilled Personnel
    • Acute shortage of skilled personnel specially marine design engineers.
    • Design houses spending huge amount on training.AIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_37
    • Need for industry ready courses.
    • Academia – industry partnership to formulate syllabus.
    • Government Assistance needed for training.
  • External Research/Public Private Partnership
    • Need to have public/private sector partnership like the one already existing for space industry.
    • Advantages of private organisations.
      • Experience and exposure in international market.
      • Sensitivity to cost overruns.
      • Experience in managing projects with tight schedules.
      • Minimum procedural lags and red tape; quicker decisions.
  • Industry – Academia Relations and National Data Bank
    • Need for data base of Subject Matter Experts: to know whom to approach when necessary.
    • Need for a National Forum and Data bank: to interact and share non confidential data.
  • Conclusions
    • Design should get its due significance.
    • Indigenisation is incomplete without design independence from foreign players.
    • Ensure Indian participation in contracts awarded to foreign design firms.
    • Preference to Indian Designers upon demonstration of knowhow even if there is no proto type.
    • Indian Designers need support and access to facilities existing in India.
    • Shortage of skills to be identified and acknowledged; Government to assist those institutions which volunteer for skill development and training.
    • Industry – Academia partnership to develop courses and train personnel.
    • Expertise in Indian Design Houses should be utilised for research activities.
    • Need for data base and coordination among designers on national interest.

Challenges in Warship Design

  • India has gained expertise in Warship Design and Development of Systems.
  • Various laboratories under Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have played a vital role to gain this expertise.AIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_38
    • Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL).
    • Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL).
    • Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL).
    • Institute for Systems Studies & Analyses (ISSA).
  • Systems
    • Habitability Systems specially for Submarines.
    • Weapon Systems
      • Missile Systems.
      • Torpedo Systems.
      • Detection Systems like Sonar, Radar.
    • Communication System.
    • Propulsion System: Next Aircraft Carrier is likely to use nuclear propulsion.

Open House Discussions

  • Maritime Clusters:AIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_39
    • They are like Smart City Project; Maritime Hub to be developed in Andhra Pradesh; Special Education Zone for North Eastern Region; Defence Hub – Aviation Hub, Maritime Hub, Celestial Hub, Cyber Hub.
    • Can it suit India, being a big country with different socio, economic, political dimensions?
    • Naval Architects graduating in India need suitable placement through these clusters.
  • 2 years course in M.B.A Defence Technology Management is conducted at Hindustan University, Chennai.
  • Free flow of information between various R&D organisations is needed for faster development.
  • National Institute of Design: whether it can include Ship Design?
  • Indian Maritime University has to integrate R&D of Maritime Industry.

Colloquium: Approach to Integrated Maritime Systems as a National Imperative

After completion of all the five panel discussions, the House was divided into four groups with a nominated group leader. The groups were

  • Table No 1: Maritime Security – Challenges and Opportunities.AIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_40
  • Table No 2: Approach to Shipbuilding Eco System.
  • Table No 3: Maritime Domain – Technology, System and Equipment.
  • Table No 4: Integrated Approach to Research and Development, Skill Development and Capacity Building.

The proceedings of the Colloquium were read out during the Valedictory Session by the respective group leaders.

  • Maritime Security – Challenges and Opportunities
    • Economic progress of a nation is only possible when the nation is free from any type of threat.
    • Threat perception varies from port to port, region to region.AIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_41
    • All ports must be International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) compliant.
    • All cargo entering the country must be fully screened.
    • All vessels operating near the coast must be fully monitored.
    • Better relations must be maintained with all neighbouring countries to maintain peace and to avoid conflicts.
    • Foreign Policy of the country must take into account the Maritime Policy of the country or vice versa.
  • Approach to Shipbuilding Eco System
    • Freezing of design is necessary before commencement of the project to avoid delay in delivery schedule.
    • Government takes a lenient view if the shipyard does not comply with delivery schedule in defence sector whereas the commercial shipyards are penalised if there is a delay.
    • Under quoting by shipyards for the sake of getting orders, leads to compromise in quality of ships constructed and delay in delivery.
    • Bigger projects must be split and given to two or more shipyards to avoid cost escalation and delay in delivery; private yards also must be considered.
    • Commercial shipbuilding can be revived only with government support in taxation, subsidies.
  • Maritime Domain – Technology, System and EquipmentAIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_42
    • Vessel turn around time has to be minimum.
    • Cargo handling, evacuation systems have to be modernised to international standards.
    • Local industry must be encouraged to supply equipment and for life cycle support.
    • Quality Standardisation is necessary for the complete marine industry.
    • All ports must be modernised equally instead of doing it in a selective manner.
  • Integrated Approach to Research and Development, Skill Development and Capacity Building.
    • R&D is a continuous process.
    • Amount spent in R&D has to be seen as an investment instead of seeing it as an expenditure/waste of resource.AIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_43
    • PPP must be encouraged.
    • Academia – Industry joint participation is necessary.
    • People active in the respective domain must also be involved in R&D.
    • Channelise human resources.
    • Develop 3As in human resources – Attitude, Aptitude, Altitude.
    • Learn from others –  whether they are colleagues, seniors or juniors.
    • Professional competence for all must be certified by national/international standards.

Valedictory Session


  • Presentation of Colloquium findings: by respective group leaders.AIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_44
  • Welcome and Introduction: by Mr JN Amrolia, Board of Advisors/Governing Council, Chennai Business School.
    • Maritime Policy needs to take into account the vast coast line, ports and neighbouring countries.
    • Maritime Industry has great potential for employment in terms of Inland Waterways, Coastal Shipping, International Shipping.
    • Size of the Merchant Navy fleet needs to be increased to cope up with the demand.
  • Valedictory Address – Strategies to Increase Opportunities of Investment in the Marine Industry in South India: by Dr T S Sridhar, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary to Government & Commissioner Revenue Administration, Disaster Management and Mitigation, Government of Tamil Nadu.
    • The oldest Navy of the World, the Chola Navy operated from our coast.
    • A Maritime Heritage Museum is coming up in a decommissioned Indian Navy Submarine Vagli at Mamallapuram.
    • Vast resource potential is available in the Indian Ocean.AIMS_2014_Conference_Approach_Integrated_Maritime_Systems_Chennai_45
    • Our ‘sea blindness’ has to be corrected.
    • समुद्र भारत समृद्ध भारत – Samudra Bharat Samrddha Bharat (Oceanic India Prosperous India).
  • AIMS 2014 – ‘A Wrap Up’: by Commodore (Retd) S Shekhar, IN, Regional Director, NMF.
    • Shipbuilding has to be designated as an Industry.
    • NMF has to perform as a Central Agency for the Maritime Industry.
    • ‘Attitude’ change is necessary across the spectrum of Marine Industry.
    • Priority must be given for Indigenisation and compliance to ‘Make in India’ is needed.
    • Tailor made courses are necessary by Academia-Industry participation to cater the Maritime Industry.
    • SAMUDRA – Maritime Task Force needs to be set up.
  • Vote of Thanks: by Mr JN Amrolia, Board of Advisors/Governing Council, Chennai Business School.

Thereafter the Day 2 Session concluded.

Thanks to CII and NMF for convening this excellent Conference.

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