R&D & Academic, the major focus verticals in the Defense sector for making India Self-Reliant

No. PR- 086

August 26, 2021

New Delhi

R&D & Academic, the major focus verticals in the Defense sector for making India Self-Reliant

Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, Vocal for Local and Make in India have already been identified by Hon’ble Prime Minister in an overarching policy aim for achieving self-reliance. This means that there has to be an immediate focus on R&D within the country in the defence sector. India is one of the largest equipment bearers in the world. The need of the hour is to progressively reduce the dependency of foreign manufactures and develop capabilities ourselves, mentioned AVM P S Sarin, VSM, ACAS (MP), Indian Air Force in a webinar organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) on Indigenization Requirements of Indian Air Force: Opportunities from MSMEs. 

AVM P S Sarin mentioned that maintenance and sustenance of aircraft and systems offer huge opportunities to the Indian industry in the areas like indigenous development of systems, subs systems, and LRUs, indigestion of spears for the maintenance of aircraft systems, tools, testers, and ground support equipment, etc. We are focused on the development of subsystems and components of legacy flights and weapons systems, augmented test equipment, special purpose tools, and ground support equipment. 

He informed that the defence PSUs and DRDO have a major role towards improving the indigenous content on the projects that are purely Indian and tapping the potential of Indian industry of which MSMEs have a major role to play. 

AVM P S Sarin added that the Government of India has introduced several measures to enhance the participation of the Indian industry in defence production. Processes have been put in place to address the objective of wider participation in the industry. impetus has been provided for the MSMEs, startups to enter into defense manufacturing and timely induction of defense equipment into defense armed forces. There is a need for simplifying the implementation of the policies and interpretation of policies at various levels. There is also a need for reducing the dependence of OEMs for long-term self-reliance. 

Wg Cdr AS Sachan, Dte of Indigenisation, in his presentation on Leveraging Policies for Creating Opportunities for Indigenization discussed the leverage initiatives for MSMEs which included fast track registration; free tender, EMD exempted, timely payment for MSMEs registered; an exemption in LD clause and other incubator and accelerator setup assistance. 

Wg Cdr A Pandit, 1CIMD, in his technical presentation on Growing Opportunities for Partnering with IAF for Aircraft Spares and Equipment gave an in-depth insight about the aerospace indigenization categories at the broad system level. He discussed the opportunities for industry partners in the sectors like tools testers and ground support equipment; aircraft tires and tubes; aircraft antennae; fuel oil and lubricant; aircraft batteries and filters. 

Wg Cdr MS Priyani, 12 BRD, in his presentation on Energising R&D with Industry, Academia and IAF for Sourcing Avionics/Electronics Spares discussed the concerns of MSMEs/Academia which included contract based on cost only; imposition of LD for the developer if product supply is delayed but no time limit for the functional test by the user and airworthiness certification. 

Col. Ajit Singh, Senior Manager, Micron Instruments Pvt. Ltd shared industry perspective, the challenges, and opportunities in the indigenization of the defence sector.

Mr. Pradeep Multani, Senior Vice President, PHDCCI deliberated about the need for Indigenisation in the defense sector which will serve the dual purpose of achieving self-reliance and reducing the burden of imports. The capability and viability of the defense and aerospace industry are built on the strength of supply chains, in which the MSMEs are intricately intertwined. There are a substantially large number of MSMEs across the country supplying components and sub-assemblies and systems to the Defence Public Sector Undertakings, Ordnance Factories, Defence Research, and Development Organization, Indian Air Force, and private industries.

Mr. Multani mentioned that there is a need to promote investment in the defence sector, both in R&D and production, thereby resulting in higher self-reliance and indigenization. While putting in place the policy framework and procedural mechanisms, the thrust would be on indigenous production and exploring possibilities of exports to other nations that may look forward to supplies from India. Since the defense technology needs long-term investment, its obsolescence is high with low economies of scale. Hence, the policy of maximizing indigenous production should be well supported by R&D policy and export strategy.

Mr. M K Gupta, Chair, Defence & HLS Committee, PHDCCI while talking about the capabilities of Indigenisation in the defense sector emphasized that there is a need to understand the huge opportunities available in the Indian industry in the context of IAF is the sustenance of aircraft fleets and systems utilizing Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul, i.e. MRO. 

Mr. Vikram Sahgal, Co-Chair, Defence & HLS Committee, PHDCCI while proposing a formal vote of thanks to all the delegates and participants mentioned that the Indigenisation of the defence sector is pivotal for India's move towards self-reliance in the future. He assured that PHDCCI will stand in full solidarity with the government. 

The session was moderated by Mr. Vivek Seigell, Assistant Secretary-General, PHDCCI, and was attended by more than 100 industry Members across the country. PHDCCI's Webinar was supported by Star Wire India ltd. and Micron Instruments Pvt. Ltd.. It was also supported by our Annual Sponsors such as DLF India; Multani Pharmaceuticals; UFLEX; JK Tyre & Industries; Marble City; Paramount Cables; SMC Investments and Advisors; Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic; Comtech Interio; DCM Shriram Industries; Radico Khaitan; R.E. Rogers India; Ajit Industries; Synergy Environics; Continental Carriers PVT LTD; Timberworkz; Jindal Stainless; Modern Automobiles; P S Bedi & Co; IFFCO and Hindware.

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Media Division

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry