Aero­space pro­duc­tion plans take wings

Auto components India - - CON­TENTS - ACI Bu­reau

The doors of the public sec­tor-dom­i­nated de­fence and aero­space in­dus­try in In­dia is shift­ing gears for a ma­jor take-off with the sup­port of the pri­vate sec­tor and for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment. The De­fence Pro­duc­tion Pol­icy 2018 (DProP 2018) and its Vi­sion 2025 call for in­vest­ment in aero­space in­dus­try with the am­bi­tious plan to build an 80-100-seater civil­ian air­craft in 7 years. DProP 2018 has iden­ti­fied 13 ar­eas where In­dia must achieve self-re­liance by 2025. Most of them are di­rectly re­lated to aero­space in­dus­try. They in­clude: Man­u­fac­tur­ing fighter air­craft, medium lift and util­ity he­li­copters, war­ships, land com­bat ve­hi­cles, au­ton­o­mous weapon sys­tems, mis­sile sys­tems, gun sys­tems, small arms, am­mu­ni­tion and ex­plo­sives, sur­veil­lance sys­tems, elec­tronic war­fare (EW) sys­tems, com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems, and night fighting en­ablers.

The pri­vate sec­tor had been de­mand­ing a flex­i­ble in­vest­ment pol­icy for un­leash­ing In­dia’s po­ten­tial to man­u­fac­ture de­fence and aero­space com­po­nents and whole equip­ment. Rec­om­mend­ing de­fence and aero­space in­dus­try in­vest­ment re­forms, the Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian In­dus­try had said, In­dia has al­ways had the po­ten­tial to be­come an aero­space hub. It is the in­ward-look­ing poli­cies and lack of trust to­wards the pri­vate sec­tor that has held In­dia back. Now the flood­gates are open for the pri­vate sec­tor. The Union De­fence Min­istry aims to achieve a turnover of Rs 1,700 bil­lion in de­fence goods and ser­vices by 2025, in­volv­ing ad­di­tional in­vest­ment of nearly Rs 700 bil­lion and cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment for nearly 2-3 mil­lion peo­ple. This is to be achieved through large-scale in­vest­ments from the pri­vate sec­tor.

The DProP 2018 wants the au­to­mo­tive com­po­nent man­u­fac­tur­ers to up­grade skills to tran­si­tion to aero­space de­sign and man­u­fac­ture and con­duct­ing “hackathons” to re­solve spe­cific prob­lem ar­eas. The gov­ern­ment is ear­mark­ing Rs 1000 crore dur­ing 2018-2022 for the set­ting up of De­fence In­no­va­tion Hubs to en­cour­age start-ups; and to bring mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­prises into de­fence and aero­space man­u­fac­ture.

As the aero­space in­dus­try is tak­ing wings in In­dia to a wide horizon, Au­to­com­po­nentsIn­dia is bring­ing out this spe­cial edi­tion high­light­ing the ground re­al­i­ties and the in­dus­try pre­pared­ness for a real take-off. The multi­na­tional aero­space man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies also are tak­ing keen in­ter­est in In­dia. In or­der to boost for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment (FDI) into de­fence pro­duc­tion, DProP 2018 has al­lowed 74% FDI un­der the au­to­matic route for “niche tech­nol­ogy ar­eas.”

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