The Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI) was set up by the Defense Metallurgical Research Laboratory in the early 1970s to manufacture critical materials required in the strategic sectors of India‘s defense industry. These sectors included nuclear power, satellite launch vehicles, aircraft, and missiles. The company entered into technical collaboration agreements with Cruesot-Loire and Pechiney Ugine Kuhlmann of France and Fried Krupp GmbH of West Germany. Later, technical knowhow was also acquired from companies in the former Soviet Union. These companies included Licensintorg, Institute for Aviation Materials (aeronautical alloys), Precision Alloys Institute (Fe-Cr-Al alloy), and PROMETEY (titanium skull melting and casting).
MIDHANI started operations in 1981 and entered commercial production in 1983. Since then, the company has supplied special metals and alloys to customers in India’s space, missile, nuclear, armaments, and aeronautics entities. In addition, MIDHANI also caters to the demand from the lamp furnace, electronics, communications, chemicals, petrochemicals, and fertilizer industries. The special metals and alloys manufactured at MIDHANI are part of an import substitution strategy, which is designed to reduce the India’s reliance on foreign suppliers and achieve self-sufficiency.
The company operates an integrated metallurgical plant for manufacturing a wide range of special metals and alloys to international specifications. The plant has an array of melting and refining furnaces such as the vacuum induction melting furnace, vacuum arc remelting furnace, computerized forging, hot rolling, precision cold rolling, bar and wire drawing, powder metallurgy shop, titanium tube plant, and a facility for the production of cores and laminations. Quality control is exercised through a quality control facility. In addition, the plant has an aeronautical material testing laboratory for testing gas turbine engines and components.
MIDHANI employs approximately 1,500 people, of which 240 are “technical executives.” In FY 1996-97, MIDHANI had an annual turnover of approximately $28.31 million.
MIDHANI’s special alloys and steels meet the critical requirements of India’s space, missile, aeronautical, and nuclear sectors. These include:
- 30 different grades covering superalloys, titanium alloys, and special steels used in the production and overhaul of aircraft (MiG 27, MiG 21 BIS, Jaguar, & Light Combat Aircraft), the Kaveri gas turbine engine, and the PTAE-7 jet engine for the Lakshya pilotless target vehicle
- Alloys for the missile program: MDN 250 rings, EN-24 steel, Ti-64 plates and sheets, magnesium alloy plates, soft iron components, and special steels like MDN 321A, MDN 177
- Special steels for the Advanced Technology Vessel (nuclear submarine): seamless MDN 316 Ti tubes and DMR 64 non-magnetic steel
- Special stainless steel plates (304L NAG) for the Department of Atomic Energy
- Nuclear energy
- Nuclear energy: The energy liberated by a nuclear reaction (fission or fusion), or by radioactive decay.
- Space Launch Vehicle (SLV)
- A rocket used to carry a payload, such as a satellite, from Earth into outer space. SLVs are of proliferation concern because their development requires a sophisticated understanding of the same technologies used in the development of long-range ballistic missiles. Some states (e.g., Iran), may have developed space launch vehicle programs in order to augment their ballistic missile capabilities.
 Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited, Department of Defence Production & Supplies, Ministry of Defence, www.defstand.gov.in.
 MIDHANI, www.stph.net.
 “Defence Production & Supplies,” Ministry of Defence Annual Report, 2000-2001 (New Delhi: Government of India), p. 58.