India to emerge a key player in global defence arena: Sitharaman

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Bengaluru, Feb 20 (IANS) India is set to emerge as a key player in the global defence arena, said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday.

“With the policy initiatives and procedural reforms, I am confident that India will emerge as a key player in the global defence arena. We will create an ecosystem for enhanced technological collaborations of the public and private sectors with foreign manufacturers,” said Sitharaman, flagging off the 5-day Aero India air show here.

Noting that the ‘Make in India’ had surged on policy initiatives such as 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in defence manufacturing, offset policy and delicensing of defence items, Sitharaman said they had resulted in making many products like S92 helicopter cabin, advanced aircraft cockpit, glass cockpit for Dornier and CH-47 Pylon for Boeing in India.

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“The government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative provided impetus for self-reliance in defence, which remains a cornerstone on which the military capability of our nation must rest,” said Sitharaman.

The 2016 Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) has provided the policy framework for instituting provisions for creating the ecosystem for utilization and consolidation of design and manufacturing facilities available in the country and create a supply chain system, an imperative for the expansion of the domestic defence industrial base.

During the last 4 years (2014-15 to 2018-19), 150 contracts valued at Rs 127,500 crore were signed with Indian vendors for procurement of defence equipment for the armed forces.

During the same period, the government accorded ‘Acceptance of Necessity (AoN)’ to 164 proposals valued at Rs 2,79,950 crore under the indigenously designed, developed and manufactured policy, buy (Indian) or make (Indian) or make categories of capital procurement as per the DDP, which means Request for Proposal (RFP) is issued only to the Indian vendors.

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“India has established as a hub with capabilities to manufacture and export of world class aerospace components, structures, avionics, technology, design, skills, innovations and has the potential and competence of end-to-end nose-to-tail production,” said the defence minister.

“We have also rolled out manufacture of 7 ammunition in the private sector backed by long-term contracts. RFP for the same has been issued she said.

To mitigate dependence on imported technologies, the government is stressing technology development and intellectual property (IP) in the defence sector.

“The defence ministry has unveiled the ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ to create greater capacity development and encourage filing of patents in defence and aerospace sectors,” Sitharaman added.

As part of this initiative, 10,000 personnel of state-run defence units are being trained and 1,000 new IP are proposed to be filed during this fiscal (2018-19).

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–IANS

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