Friday, December 9, 2022

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Defence, Aerospace: 2 sectors that will make India ‘Atmanirbhar!’ : PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while launching the C-295 transport aircraft manufacturing facility in Gujarat’s Vadodara on Sunday, said that the Defence and aerospace sectors will be two important pillars for making India ‘Atmanirbhar’.

The Prime Minister also noted that the defence manufacturing scale of the country will cross USD 25 billion by 2025.

PM Modi laid the foundation stone of the C-295 transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force in Vadodara, Gujarat today.

‘Defence, aerospace will make India, Atmanirbhar!’

“In the coming years, the Defence and Aerospace sectors will be two important pillars for making India ‘Atmanirbhar’. By 2025, our defence manufacturing scale would cross USD25 billion. Defence corridors being established in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu would power this scale,” he said.

“The transport aircrafts that’ll be manufactured here will not only give power to our Army but also develop a new ecosystem of manufacturing aircraft,” he added.

PM Modi stressed that the country is moving forward with the aim of being the frontrunner in every field.

“From semi-conductor to aircraft, we are moving forward with the aim to be the frontrunner in every field. It is being possible because we have focussed on skill development in the last eight years and prepared an atmosphere for it,” he said.

Noting that India is one of the “fastest-developing aviation sectors” today, the Prime Minister said that the country will soon enter the list of top three nations in terms of air traffic.

“In the coming 10-15yrs, India will require over 2000 passenger and cargo aircraft. This reflects how fast we’ll be developing. India is preparing to meet the demand from now on,” he said.

The Prime Minister attributed to the progressive steps being taken across sectors to the “change of mindset”, and said that the previous governments’ mindset “didn’t let the private sector grow”.

“One key aspect of progress is the change of mindset! Govts, for a long time now, had been working with the mindset that only the government knows everything & that only they should do everything. This mindset suppressed the country’s talent, and didn’t let the private sector grow,” he said.

PM Modi hits previous government’s mindset

Hitting out further at the previous governments over the mindset, the Prime Minister said that it less to a loss in India’s manufacturing sector.

“Previous governments also had the mindset to avoid problems and keep alive manufacturing sector with a few subsidies. This thinking led to a loss in India’s manufacturing sector. Neither was there a solid policy, nor responsibility over the need for logistics, and electricity/water supply. The India of today is working with a new mindset and new work culture. We have let go of ‘Kaam-chalau’ decisions,” he said.

PM Modi highlighted that the country is managing the service sectors along with flourishing the manufacturing sector today.

“Earlier there was also a mindset that India cannot do well in manufacturing, so it should focus on service sector. Today we are managing the service sector and also flourishing the manufacturing sector,” he said.

Facility at Vadodara to manufacture aircrafts 

Apart from making 40 aircraft, this facility at Vadodara would be manufacturing additional aircraft for Air Force requirements and exports, as per Defence Secretary Aramane Giridhar.

With the launch of the C295 aircraft manufacturing facility, India will enter an illustrious league of about only a dozen nations with the capacity to manufacture military transport aircraft. -Currently, the US, Japan, UK, Russia, France, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Brazil, China, and Japan has that capacity.

Tata-Airbus combine had said that C-295 manufacturing is “the first Make in India aerospace programme in the private sector involving the full development of a complete industrial ecosystem; from manufacture to assembly, test and qualification, to delivery and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft.”

Under the terms of the deal, 16 C-295 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered between September 2023 and August 2025 in flyaway condition, while the remaining 40 aircraft will be manufactured at the Vadodara facility.

In another first, “indigenous content in the planes will be the highest ever in India, and 96 per cent of the work that Airbus does in Spain will now be done at the new facility.”

The Vadodara facility will be initially geared to manufacture 8 aircraft per year, but it has been designed such that it can also cater to the additional needs of Indian armed forces or exports.

As per Defence Ministry, following the delivery of 56 aircraft to IAS, the combine will be allowed to sell India-built C295 aircraft to civil operators and to countries cleared by the government. It is believed that the Vadodara facility will replicate the success of Brahmos in missile exports.

Big boost to the Make in India

India has embarked on a massive transformation of its defence sector through the ambitious Make in India program of the Modi government. Several projects for the domestic manufacturing of various defence platforms like missiles, field guns, tanks, aircraft carriers, drones, fighter planes, tanks, and helicopters are currently underway and are fulfilling the defence modernization needs of the Indian armed forces.

However, military transport aircraft was one of the critical missing links in the entire defence industrial complex chain. The JV between Tata and Airbus has plugged that missing piece and will significantly boost the Make in India program of the Narendra Modi government. The Indian Armed forces will no longer have to depend on the old Avro planes of the 1960 generation for their transportation needs.

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