PM Modi calls upon global defense companies to make India a manufacturing hub

PM Modi calls upon global defense companies to make India a manufacturing hub

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation stone of a manufacturing facility for the C-295 military transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force. Simultaneously, he called upon global defense companies to manufacture military equipment in India for the world. In his address, the Prime Minister said that India is moving ahead with the mantra of "Make in India" and "Make for the Globe". He said the policies of the present government are "stable, predictable and forward-looking" which is promoting economic growth.

Under the Rs 21,935-crore deal in September last year, the Tata group in collaboration with Europe-based Airbus will manufacture 40 C-295 transport aircraft at its Vadodara facility. According to the agreement, 16 aircraft ready to fly will be handed over to the Indian Air Force between September 2023 and August 2025. In the presence of Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, and top officials of defense companies, the Prime Minister said, "Today we have taken a big step towards making India a manufacturing hub of transport aircraft. Is.''

This is the first project of its kind in the country in which a military aircraft will be manufactured by a private company. The Prime Minister said, “India presents opportunities for low-cost manufacturing and high production. Today India is working with a new mindset, a new work culture.” The Prime Minister called upon the defense companies to take advantage of the conducive environment for manufacturing in the country. The Prime Minister said that India is going to become a major manufacturer of transport aircraft and he sees a day when big commercial aircraft will be made in the country.

Referring to the growing demand for passenger and cargo aircraft in India, Modi said the country would need more than 2,000 aircraft in the next 15 years. He said that the promise of 'Make in India, Make for the Globe' will get a new impetus from Vadodara as the facility will be able to take orders for export to other countries in the future. Modi said the manufacturing of the C-295 aircraft in Vadodara would not only give strength to the Army but would also create a new 'ecosystem' of aircraft manufacturing.

"Vadodara, which is famous as a cultural and education hub, will create a new identity as a hub of the aviation sector," Modi said. Companies have invested in India. He said that such foreign investments are not limited to a few industries but are spread over 61 sectors of the economy and cover 31 states of India.

“We aim to increase our defense manufacturing to over US$25 billion by 2025. Our defense exports will also exceed USD 5 billion." Modi said India has today taken a "big step" to boost manufacturing, as well as the country's fighter jets, tanks, submarines, medicines, making vaccines, electronic devices, mobile phones, and cars which are popular in many countries. At the same time, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh described this occasion as a milestone in India's aspiration to become self-reliant in the defense sector.

The aircraft will be manufactured by a tie-up between the Tata Group and European aerospace company Airbus. N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, of Tata Sons, said, "This is a historic moment not only for the Tata Group but for the country, as it is in line with the Prime Minister's vision of making India a truly self-reliant country." Officer Guillaume Faury said his company is honored to play a role in a "historic moment for aerospace in India".

"Our teams at Airbus are committed to supporting the modernization of the Indian Air Force with the C-295 program, which will also contribute to the growth of the private defense manufacturing sector in the country," he said in his brief address. These medium-range transport aircraft to be built in India will be supplied to the Indian Air Force. Apart from this, these aircraft will also be sent to foreign markets.

In September last year, India entered into an agreement with major aircraft manufacturer Airbus Defense and Space under which there was a provision for the purchase of 56 C-295 aircraft from Airbus to replace the obsolete transport aircraft of the Air Force Avro-748. Avro aircraft were put into service in the 1960s. Under this agreement, Airbus will hand over 16 aircraft from its assembly unit in Seville, Spain, to India within four years in fully ready condition.

The remaining 40 aircraft will be built in India in collaboration with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL). At the same time, the first locally made C-295 aircraft in India will be ready by September 2026 at the Vadodara manufacturing plant. The remaining 39 aircraft are targeted to be built by August 2031. Modi said the operating conditions are continuously improving and India is focusing on cost competitiveness as well as quality.

The Prime Minister said, “India presents an opportunity for low-cost manufacturing and high production.” He further said that India has a huge pool of skilled manpower. Modi said the "one time" key idea was to focus on the services sector as manufacturing was considered out of reach. Modi also lamented the "approach" of the previous government, where the manufacturing sector was kept barely functional through subsidies. He said basic amenities like a power supply or water supply were neglected.

"We have abandoned the tentative approach of decision-making and have come up with various new incentives for investors," he said. The Indian Air Force will become the 35th C-295 operator worldwide. So far, the company has received 285 orders worldwide out of which over 200 aircraft have been delivered. These orders came from 38 operators from a total of 34 countries. In the year 2021, C-295 aircraft recorded more than five lakh flight hours.

Indian Air Force officials said that the aircraft built at this plant will be capable of taking off from improvised airstrips apart from advanced landing grounds. This Airbus transport aircraft will be made in a country outside Europe for the first time. After supplying the 56 aircraft earmarked for the Indian Air Force, Airbus will be allowed to sell the aircraft manufactured at the plant to civilian airline operators in other countries as well. However, Airbus will have to get approval from the Indian government before these aircraft are approved in other countries.

With the proven capability to operate from short or semi-finished airstrips, the C-295 is used for the tactical transport of 71 soldiers or 50 paratroopers and for logistical operations in locations that are currently unavailable for heavy aircraft. are not accessible. The aircraft can airdrop paratroops and material, and can also be used for casualty or medical evacuation. The aircraft is capable of carrying out special missions as well as disaster response and maritime patrol obligations.

The aircraft will be tested as an integrated system by the Tata consortium. The aircraft will be flight tested and delivered through a distribution center at the Tata Consortium facility. The project is expected to create 600 highly skilled jobs directly, over 3,000 indirect jobs, and 3000 additional medium-skill level jobs with over 42.5 lakh man-hours in the aerospace and defense sectors. About 240 engineers will be trained for the project at an Airbus facility in Spain.

(with language input)