Lucknow: Over 200 partnerships involving the signing of MoUs, Transfer of Technology (ToTs) , product launches were concluded on the third day of DefExpo 2020, at a ceremony tilted “Bandhan.” The pacts, aimed at forging and renewing partnerships for innovative collaboration, and transformation of defence manufacturing in the country were inked by representatives of various DPSUs, private defence companies and foreign companies in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow.
Third day of DefExpo: Singh says MoUs are steps towards $5 bn goal
Speaking on the third day of DefExpo 2020, the Defence Minister described the signing of MoUs as a step in the direction to achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s $5 billion defence exports target in the next five years. The defence PSUs and the Indian defence private industry are better placed today to lead India as the emerging R&D hub of the world, leveraging the sharp minds of Indian youth. The liberalised licensing regime brought out by the government would surely attract large investments by both Indian and global companies, he stressed. Singh thanked all stakeholders who signed MoUs and expressed hope that Uttar Pradesh would emerge as a defence manufacturing hub.
UP signs 23 MoUs
Among the MoUs signed on Friday, 23 of them were signed by the Uttar Pradesh government. Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath said these MoUs envisage Rs 50,000-crore investment in the defence corridor setup in the state and is expected to generate 3 lakh job opportunities. He assured that the investments coming to the state were secure and the state investment policy was the most attractive in the country. He also announced that HAL would soon supply Dornier 19-seater civilian aircraft to UP.
‘Largest number of MoUs, ToTs signed, product launches done’
Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar said that this DefExpo would be remembered for many firsts, including the signing of the largest number of MoUs and ToTs and launching of products. The Bandhan ceremony witnessed more than 13 product launches, 124 MoUs between DPSUs, private and global defence manufacturing companies. On February 6, a total of 71 MoUs were inked, including 14 between Indian and Russian companies.
Sateesh Reddy, Secretary, Chairman of Defence Research and Development Organisation, said that it was DRDO’s duty to ensure that the Defence corridor in Uttar Pradesh flourishes. Hence, DRDO has signed a technological partnership agreement with the state government, imparting skill training, hand holding and providing guidance in all aspects related to technology, he added. A collaboration cell was already setup in the state to facilitate the process. He also mentioned that a Research and Development centre would be setup in the state that would act as a catalyst with respect to defence development. Technology transfer was made available at no cost to companies in order to further the defence ecosystem in the country. Further, the patents held by DRDO were given for free to Indian companies to further develop technologies that would benefit Indian companies.
HAL’s LUH gets clearance; OFB launches Sharang
During the course of the ceremony, a major announcement in the form of issuing the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) certificate of Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) was issued to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). LUH is designed and developed as a replacement for Cheetah and Chetak helicopters which are currently being operated by the Indian Armed forces. LUH is a new generation helicopter in the 3-Ton class, incorporating state-of-the-art technology features which will meet the emerging needs in this class of helicopters in the coming decades.
OFB also launched “Sharang” — the 155mm artillery gun with 36-km range — and handed over a model to Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane. OFB also launched JVPC Alpha gun with 100m range, Light Machine Gun of 800m range and UBGL (Under barrel Grenade Launcher).
BDL launched Amogha-3, the anti-Tank Guided Missile. It is a man portable fire and forget missile. BDL also launched Varunastra — the anti-submarine torpedo — manufactured under the technological guidance of DRDO.