New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said he has set a target of raising defence exports to $2 billion in the next two years and the offsets clause will help in this.
Speaking at the Aerospace & Defence Summit organised by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India, the minister said the target is not very difficult to achieve.
“I think the push in exports is showing results. It has reached $350 million, almost doubling the export,” Parrikar said.
“In years to come, I have set a target for myself. In the next two years, the target is to touch $2 billion. It is not very impossible as offsets are the area from where exports, and expertise, both can come,” he said.
The minister added that in the next two years, $2 billion worth of offset obligations are to be fulfilled.
Talking about Make in India, Parrikar said the project on manufacturing fighter aircraft and helicopters in India will start in a year’s time.
“In next one year’s time, we expect the Make in India project in fighter aircraft and helicopters to take off, besides what we are doing ourselves,” Parrikar said.
Expressing the intention to export the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, Parrikar said he had to make Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Indian Air Force (IAF) personally sit across the table to discuss Tejas, after which the IAF expressed the intent to take 120 of the LCAs.
“…virtually HAL and IAF had to be brought on the table together for a series of meetings by me personally and finally the achievement was the IAF intent for total 120 Tejas aircraft,” Parrikar said.
He said a couple of modifications may be needed in the production line “not only to manufacture and give to IAF but also to export”.