Record 75 per cent (approx. Rs one lakh crore) of the defence capital procurement budget has been earmarked for domestic industry in Financial Year (FY) 2023-24, up from 68 per cent in 2022-23. This was announced by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh during the Bandhan ceremony of 14th Aero India in Bengaluru on February 15, 2023. In FY 2023-24, Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been allocated a total Budget of Rs 5.94 lakh crore, which is 13.18 per cent of the total budget (Rs 45.03 lakh crore). Capital outlay pertaining to modernisation and infrastructure development has been increased to Rs 1.63 lakh crore.
Shri Rajnath Singh termed the decision as an unprecedented step taken by the Government at the outset of ‘Amrit Kaal’ to further strengthen the defence sector and minimise import dependency. “If you take one step, the government promises to take ten steps forward. You spoke of land to run on the path of development. We are providing you full sky. Earmarking three-fourth of the capital procurement budget for the local industry is a step in that direction,” he said.
The Raksha Mantri exuded confidence that with this step, the Indian industry will come forward with more enthusiasm and contribute in making the defence sector more powerful and prosperous. He was of the view that a strong & self-reliant defence industry not only strengthens the security system of the country, but also bolsters the economy. He highlighted that, in the last few years, a domestic industry-friendly environment has been created in the country provides a runway for the local companies to grow and ensure holistic development of the nation while catering to the security needs of the friendly countries, in line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Make in India, Make for the World’.
The Bandhan ceremony also witnessed the forging of 266 partnerships including 201 MoUs, 53 major announcements, nine product launches and three Transfers of Technology, worth around Rs 80,000 crore.
- MoU between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Safran Helicopter Engines, France for Work Share for formation of Joint venture for Design, Development, Manufacture and life time support of Helicopter Engines.
- MoU between Bharat Electronics Ltd and Aeronautical Development Agency on IWBC and Other LRUs for Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).
- Co-operation between BSS Material Limited and Pegasus Engineering, an ADUSEA Inc. Division (USA) for Logistic Drones for the Indian Army towards Last Mile Delivery for forward troops deployed along the border areas with capability of operation in wind/gust condition, rain/Snow etc.
- MoU between Gopalan Aerospace India Pvt. Ltd. and Omnipol, Czech Republic for manufacturing and assembling of 1st passenger aircraft (L 410 UVP-E20 version) by a private company in India.
- MoU on collaboration of Sagar Defence Engineering Private Limited (SDEPL) & Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for IDEX Challenge “Autonomous Weaponized boat Swarm” for Indian Navy.
- MoU between Bharat Dynamics Limited and Bultexpro Ltd., Bulgaria for setting up the manufacturing facilities for 122mm GRAD BM ER and NONER rockets in India and fulfill the requirements (including ToT).
- MoU between GRSE and Rolls-Royce Solutions GmbH (MTU) for License production with localization of the MTU 16V4000M73L engine to support the indigenous content for the Next Generation Fast Attack Craft vessel for Indian Navy.
- BEML enters into License Agreement for Transfer of Technology (ToT) with R&DEE, DRDO for development and supply of TRAWL Assembly for T-72/T-90 Tanks.
- ToT of Shakti EW System from DLRL DRDO to BEL Hyderabad Unit for all system units, Bill of Material, Test procedures, integration & offering methodology.
- MoU between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Elta Systems Limited, Israel for cooperation on future Business in Maritime Patrol Radar (MPR) for Indian Platforms.
- Vertically Launch Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (Bharat Dynamics Limited): VLSRSAM is a next-generation, ship-based, all-weather, air defence weapon which can be used by Navy as a quick reaction point defence against supersonic sea skimming targets like aircraft and UAVs. The Missile has a smokeless propulsion system with all-weather capability. It has a highly agile configuration with state-of-the-art Electronic Counter-Counter Measures features.
- SAL Seeker ATGM for BMP II (Bharat Dynamics Limited): Semi-Active Laser Seeker based Anti-Tank Guided Missile for BMP-II is a subsonic missile with a range of 4,000 metres and flight time of 25 seconds. The missile weighs 23 kgs with the launch tube and can be used in different kinds of terrains to incapacitate the moving and stationary targets such as tanks and Infantry Combat Vehicles.
- Jishnu (Bharat Dynamics Limited): Jishnu, a Drone Delivered Missile, is light weight and miniaturised missile targeted for soft-skinned targets. It has a range of 1.5 km with a flight time of 9 seconds. The missile can be semi-automatic or completely autonomous based on the systems configurations.
- Software defined NAVIC/GPS receiver module based on indigenously-developed processors (Astra Microwave Products Limited).
- Indigenously-built ‘Counter Drone Radar’ based on technology from DRDO (Astra Microwave Products Limited).
- 9 mm sub-sonic ammunition (Munitions India Limited).
- BFT on Ios (ideaForge Technology Limited): BlueFire Touch BlueFire Touch, our Ground Control Station (GCS) software, is built to plan and command both mapping and surveillance missions with the ability to pre-plan missions based on operational area and target locations via waypoint-based navigation.
- HF SDR Radio (Bharat Electronics Limited): It is an advanced software defined radio. The radio is lightweight 20 W transmit capable radio. It provides a complete solution to the short-range communication requirements in the crowded HF band and long-range communications beyond line of sight.
- Goniometer (Bharat Electronics Limited): It is part of any integrated observation and fire control monitoring system for day time or night time use by the Artillery.
Shri Rajnath Singh stated that the MoUs and ToTs completed during Bandhan will pave the way for enhanced FDI in defence and take the manufacturing in the sector to greater heights. He defined Bandhan as not just an agreement between two sides limited to economic benefit, but a new resolution to bolster the nation in the defence domain. He also emphasised that the partnerships forged with friendly countries will take their bilateral collaboration with India to the next level.
The Raksha Mantri stated that Aero India showcased to the world the ‘New Defence Sector’ of ‘New India’, which has not only grown in the last few years, but is now fully ready to walk alongside the defence sectors of leading countries. He expressed satisfaction that the event paved the new way to strengthen the Indian defence industry, terming it as the beginning of a new era of ‘Aatmanirbharta’. He exuded confidence that the sector will move forward strongly on the path of progress with new energy and determination.
Shri Rajnath Singh described Karnataka as one of those historical states which has been consistently contributing to the country’s economic progress. He stated that there could not be a better place than Karnataka to organise Aero India as the state has attracted local as well as international industries with its robust R&D manufacturing ecosystem.
Karnataka Chief Minister Shri Basavaraj Bommai, Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Shri Samir V Kamat, Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka Smt Vandita Sharma and other senior officials of Ministry of Defence & state government were present during the ceremony.