K. Tamilmani, chief executive of the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC), on Thursday, rooted for a more active role for the indigenous private industry in Defence production.

“Our mindset of not seeking private sector participation should change,” he said in his keynote address at an industry meeting held by the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), a Defence Research and Development Organisation lab here, in connection with its diamond jubilee.

Listing out the issues that dog indigenous Defence production, Mr. Tamilmani said that without infrastructure such as an engine test bed, projects took a long lead time for fruition, as the cycle of testing systems aboard took its own sweet time.

Further, there was a paucity of manufacturing facilities in the government sector, coupled with a general reluctance to get products done through the private sector. Research and development was not translating into products.

“There is a dire need to harness facilities available with the private sector, whose capabilities are being exploited by international firms,” he said.

Mr. Tamilmani said instead of handholding the private sector for higher, accelerated growth together, roadblocks such as customs duty on imported components were putting the brakes on the country’s progress in Defence manufacturing. “For instance, NCNC (no commitment, no cost) is a disaster for the private industry,” he said as it bled firms financially.

He cited a range of products from the indigenously made MFD (multifunction displays) for the Su-30 MKI aircraft to the oil filter of the Jaguar aircraft developed several decades ago to highlight the reliability and cost-effectiveness of the systems made within the country.