Defence, aero PSUs reveal hurdles to ‘Make in India’

Public sector agencies in the strategic areas of aerospace and defence on Friday said it may be a tall order in the near term to reverse the 70 per cent import of military hardware. However, they have started changing production strategies to meet the challenge.

To meet the government’s ‘Make in India’ mandate, public defence manufacturing majors are ready to source more from small and medium industries but suppliers are falling short on facilities, quality and time lines, was the refrain at the Aerospace & Defence Manufacturing Summit organised by Bengaluru-based Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies and Industries (SIATI).

V. Udaya Bhaskar, Chairman & Managing Director of Bharat Dynamics Ltd, Hyderabad, said a paradigm shift would be needed to get quality components on time. Public and private sectors must work in tandem. In recent years, BDL had outsourced up to 80 per cent of the work for Akash and other missiles. “Now we have to outsource high-end sub-assemblies. The private sector must also gear up,” he said.

K. Tamilmani, DRDO Director General (R&D Aero Systems), stressed that its labs developing aircraft and combat products for the military badly need high-end testing and other facilities. Future military requirements would be high but existing facilities are grossly inadequate. “For example, we must be the only country doing intensive aeronautical research and trying to succeed without a proper wind tunnel [to test aircraft systems]. How long can we continue to take our products to [Moscow’s testing facility] TsAGI or Calspan in the US? We cannot take some of our development products outside the country — such as the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft, Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles and the UAVs for reasons of security and secrecy,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 6:03:24 PM |

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