VEM Tech to set up ₹1,000 crore integrated defence factory in Sangareddy

IT principal secretary Jayesh Ranjan shaking hands with VEM Technologies CMD Venkata Raju after signing the MoU in Hyderabad on Sunday. Also seen are MA&UD Minister K.T. Rama Rao, member of Niti Aayog V.K. Saraswat and DRDO chairman Satheesh Reddy.  

VEM Technologies, the city-based firm that became the first private sector unit to make a central fuselage for Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas being manufactured by Hindustran Aeronautics Limited (HAL), is scaling up its defence manufacturing capabilities by setting up a ₹1,000 crore integrated defence facility at Yelgoi near Zaheerabad in Sangareddy.

Spread over 511 acres, this exclusive defence factory, to come up in the next five years, will be involved in making next generation weapon systems end-to-end, including missiles, radars, seekers, engines, avionics, fighter planes, helicopters and the likes, employing close to 2,000 persons. This will also serve as a defence export processing zone to cater to the overseas market, said VEM Technologies Chairman and Managing Director V. Venkata Raju on Sunday.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State government was signed by Mr. Raju in the presence of IT and Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao, DRDO chairman G. Satheesh Reddy, Niti-Aayog member V.K. Saraswat, TS Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (TSIIC) VC and MD E.V. Narasimha Reddy and IT secretary Jayesh Ranjan.

Dr. Reddy, also secretary of the department of defence R&D, said that the government was keen on opening up the entire defence production for the private sector and an entire missile weapons system to be made by the latter. Akash Missile being manufactured by BDL has 85% private sector contribution with several ‘tier 2 and tier 3’ contributing.

‘More orders coming’

“This is an ideal scenario where we want small scale sector to contribute and not large monopolies. Hyderabad is going to be the centre for several production facilities, including anti-drone technologies, electronic warfare and others, with at least ₹1 lakh crore orders coming by as more key technologies will be transferred by the ministry,” he said.

Mr. Raju stated that aerospace and defence company currently functions from two locations — for design and development and manufacturing facilities here. It has been a production partner with defence public sector units like BEL, HAL and others in making various systems for BrahMos, LRSAM/MRSAM, Astra missiles and so on. In fact, it has been working on its own weapon system, ASIBAL – an anti-tank guided missile system.

Mr. Rama Rao hailed the pact and reiterated the government’s support for the project and also in establishing the proposed skill development centre at Zaheerabad. The city has become a hub for defence manufacturing over decades with several public and private units established, he pointed out, and called for collaborative efforts between the Centre and State to give impetus to defence sector putting aside ‘ideological differences’ for the sake of the nation.

Dr. Saraswat recalled the growth of VEM Techologies in the last three decades and expected it to become the aerospace-defence akin to US-based ‘Lockheed Martin’. Former Union Defence Minister Pallam Raju was also present.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 4:10:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/vem-tech-to-set-up-1000-crore-integrated-defence-factory-in-sangareddy/article37152961.ece

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