201 MoUs, product launches and technology transfers concluded at Aero India 2021
A total of 201 MoUs, product launches and technology transfers were concluded at the Aero India 2021 held in Bengaluru. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh informed that 128 MoUs, 19 technology transfers, 4 handing overs, 18 product launches and 32 major announcements were made at Aero India this year. These included the formal handing over of the Advanced Light Helicopters MK-III to the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard (ICG), commencement of Performance based logistics of ICG fleet, initial operational clearance of Army version of Light Utility Helicopter etc.
The Minister reiterated India’s intention to bring down defence imports by at least $2 billion by 2022 to encourage local defence manufacturing. He informed that 138 proposals worth over $37 billion for domestic manufacturing were approved between 2016 and 2019. Highlighting the importance of the requisite eco-system for the growth of the defence industry, he said Rs 6,800 crore investments were pledged by both public and private industries in the defence corridors of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Mr Singh also spoke of the need for a robust domestic manufacturing base for defence export potential of the country. He reiterated the target of increasing the country’s defence base from $11 billion to $25 billion by 2025 including an export component of $5 billion. Defence exports grew from Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 9,000 crore from 2015-2020 with a vast majority spearheaded by the private sector. With reference to the Indian aerospace industry he said that the aero components sector is set to grow from Rs. 30,000 crore today to Rs. 60,000 crore by 2024. He enumerated the cost competitiveness of India’s manpower resources, availability of abundant, specialist capabilities and geographical advantages as reasons for its emergence as a global and regional Maintenance and Repair Operations hub.