The Indian private sector defence and aerospace companies should invest in long-term cutting-edge technologies in research and development to match global industry standards, not only to make India self-reliant in these sectors, but also 'making for the world', said Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
"Once the ongoing policy reforms and roadmap for greater industry participation is in place, there will be greater visibility on demand requirements for the industry. About Rs 52,000 crore procurement plan for this year has already been announced and another Rs 1.40 lakh crore worth of defence products will be added in near future," he said at the 'Defence Industry Outreach Atmanirbhar Bharat webinar organised by the industry body Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Corporatisation of ordnance factories, two defence manufacturing corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamilnadu, increasing foreign direct investment cap to 74 per cent, a negative import list of 101 defence items, draft policy on defence procurement to bring transparency and greater co-operation between stakeholders and timelines were part of the recent initiatives to make India self-reliant in defence production. More MSMEs and start-ups will have a major role in this, as already the defence establishments are working with an ecosystem involving over 8000 MSMEs, he said.
The industry should invest in niche and disruptive technologies, partner with defence research and development organisation (DRDO) establishments and form joint ventures with overseas companies to acquire technology and capabilities, as the defence forces require high quality best arms and equipment that can help the country win wars, said General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff.
The industry should map core capabilities and efficiencies. Breaking complexity of products into components and manufacturing with proper design, development and prototyping are important in defence production, said Prof K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India. "Many of the technologies in defence production can also be used in civilian applications," he said.