Defence ministry signs MoUs for making jets, choppers

Mumbai, Feb 15 (IANS) The defence ministry on Monday signed 40-50 MoUs with many global players, including manufacturers of jet aircraft and helicopters, as part of the ongoing ‘Make In India Week’ here, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said.

The production of helicopters and jet aircraft in the country will create employment opportunities for around 100,000 skilled workers, he said at the ministry’s pavilion.

“The ministry has addressed procedural bottlenecks and 70 percent of licence requirements have been done away with, while the new defence procurement policy will be announced next month and become effective from April 2,” Parrikar told mediapersons.

The minister said public sector undertakings in the defence sector have seen their exports rise two times and this was set to rise further as they plan to double their production capacities and earmark 10 percent solely for exports.

“We will have a new category — ‘indigenously designed, developed and manufactured’ — as the most preferred category for procurement. It will boost domestic private and small scale industry,” he said.

He said the Akash misile was now 90 percent indigenously designed and developed, while the next variant of the missile was in advanced stages of development.

The Indian Air Force will buy 100 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, which was developed in the country, he said.

All these initiatives under the ‘Make In India’ initiative will take the country’s economic growth to unimaginable heights from the current levels of 7.0-7.5 percent and the government promises to make the defence market more lucrative for the Indian industry.

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