Rajnath Singh outlines initiatives for self-reliance in defence

by Editorial

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched the initiatives of a number of modernisation and up-gradation of facilities and new infrastructure creation by defence PSUs and OFB, through digital link from Delhi on Monday, as part of the Aatmanirbhar Week celebration of the Ministry of Defence. MoS Defence Shripad Y. Naik, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, Secretary Defence Production Raj Kumar, Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar, senior officers from DDP and CMDs and chairman of DPSUs and OFB participated in the event through video conference links.

Addressing them, Rajnath Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a clarion call for Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan and his 5-I formula of ‘Intent, Inclusion, Investment, Infrastructure and Innovation’ will put the economy on high-growth trajectory. He said that the government has made timely and thoughtful interventions during Covid-19 times like issuing negative list for import, increase in FDI limits, separate budget for domestic capital procurement and emphasis on indigenisation.

 The minister emphasised, “The ban on imports of 101 items is a big step towards an Atma Nirbhar Bharat. This list of negative items contains not only small items but weapon systems of high and critical technology. More such items will be added to this list shortly which will save crores of rupees in imports.” He also said we will take more steps towards, Indigenisation, investment in defence infrastructure and expansion in defence manufacturing capability. These steps will create big opportunities for the Indian defence industry.

In keeping with the vision of the Prime Minister, the defence Minister said the Department of Defence Production, Defence PSUs and Ordnance Factories Board have shown great enthusiasm and commitment in ushering in a truly Aatmanirbhar Bharat. He specifically mentioned, “Defence industry has always been the forerunner of cutting-edge technologies world across and hence self-reliance in Defence is a tall task which needs whole hearted involvement of all to be fruitful.” “The defence industries have been the force behind the Armed Forces. Today we are proud of our Defence PSUs and OFB for their continued support and sustained efforts towards this,” he added.

Under upgradation of facilities, Pinaka Rocket Complex at Ordnance Factory Chanda has launched upgradation of facilities to meet the enhanced requirement of Pinaka and other rockets as well as the assembly and testing facility for SRCG at Ordnance Factory, Trichy all of which are critical requirements towards defence preparedness. Modernisation of facilities at OLF Dehradun will serve the purpose of manufacturing of high-end Optoelectronic products for T-90 Tanks. BEL has launched fully indigenised Maareech Integration facility for manufacturing, integration and testing of Anti Torpedo Defence System Maareech which has been designed by DRDO. HAL has handed over the 500th AL31FP overhauled engine to the IAF which are mounted on its most lethal frontline fighter aircraft Su-30MKI. It has been done by the Koraput Division of HAK. BEML has set up Industrial Design Centre at Bengaluru as part of its new infrastructure creation. The Centre is first of its kind in India, focusing on implementing factors of industrial design and human factors as a part of developmental strategies for setting the global benchmarking in Industrial Design and Ergonomics in Products. It is proposed to develop this facility further as a national facility and would be offered to the industry in the next stage.

Under modernisation of facilities, GRSE has enhanced the capability at its Raja Bagan Dockyard to meet the production requirement for the ongoing prestigious P17A project. New infrastructure has been created in the defence sector in the shape of foundation laying of Seeker Facility Center (SFC) at BDL, a new modular facility for manufacturing of Missile System (RF Seeker) that will reduce import dependence for seekers and Foundation Laying for Warheads Production Facility at BDL for manufacturing and testing of indigenously developed warheads required for Konkurs-M, Invar, Akash, Astra missiles, etc. The facility being modular will cater to all futuristic missile warheads with incremental modifications.

A new state of art Steel Preparation Shop (SPS) at GSL has been inaugurated today that will enable indigenous construction of high technology Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) hull MCMVs along with other supporting infrastructure for the country. MIDHANI under its Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainable Development Policy has set up a state-of-the-art Skill Development Center and christened it as “Centre of Excellence — Special Materials”. This facility will primarily focus on Promoting applied research for the development of Special Materials used in aerospace, defence, nuclear, space and other strategic areas.

Rajnath Singh unveiled these facilities by pressing a remote button. Congratulating the Department of Defence Production MoD, Defence PSUs and Ordnance Factories Board,Rajnath Singh said “These upgradation/ modernisation/new setups will give tremendous benefit in terms of reducing dependency on foreign resources for production as well as further maintenance, upgradation and life time support, all through safe and sound, indigenous hands.” He added, “The spirit demonstrated by the DPSUs and OFB will usher the nation in a quantum jump to a resilient, Aatmanirbhar economy.”

As part of Aatmanirbhar Week celebrations, various DPSUs and OFB are also organising a series of webinars covering all relevant topics and including the various stakeholders like industry experts, vendors and academia.

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