This special typle of steel, called “15CDV6 grade plates” steel was made at SAIL’s Rourkela plant, and will be used for outer motor casing of the missile. These plates were rolled and annealed at the special plate plant (SPP) at Rourkela.
A senior SAIL official said that with the Centre pushing for domestic players in the defence sector as part of the “Make in India” campaign, SAIL expects more such orders in the days to come. “We are quite excited about our contribution in the making of the Agni missile. It is another feather in our cap as far as making steel for the defence sector is concerned,” he said. The unit has also supplied special grades of steel for the making of “INS Vikrant”, the first indigenous aircraft carrier. DMR 249A steel has been supplied for the hull and body while DMR 249B, a more resilient steel, has been used for the flight deck, which has to take the repeated impact of 20-30-tonne fighter aircraft landing.
The SPP of Rourkela is also supplying DMR 249A steel for India’s first indigenously built submarine hunting ship, “INS Kamorta”. This is a super-sophisticated frontline warship built for the Indian Navy. The DMR 249A steel is a low carbon alloyed steel in which the specified hydrogen content is very less.
The Rourkela SPP, said the official, is a regular supplier of steel for the atomic research projects as well and it has also provided steel plates with high resistance to granular and stress corrosion for the Kalpakkam plant.
The official said expansion and modernisation of the special plate plant is on the cards, after which its capacity will increase from 3,000 tonnes per annum to 15,000 tonnes per annum. “After the modernisation is complete, we will be in a position to make wider varieties of defence equipment,” he added.
The Rourkela plant has been supplying equipment for the defence sector for a long time and so far it has supplied 78,500 tonnes of special steel plates.