On Thursday, The Ministry of Defence had placed an order worth Rs 7,523 crore to the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) for the supply of 118 units of the Main Battle Tank Arjun’s Mark-1A variant for the Indian Army. Arjun Mark-1A is developed by the Central Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) in Chennai.
This decision comes after the Centre’s announcement to establish defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to become ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in the manufacturing and service of aerospace and defence equipment. This ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ boost, will benefit 200 Indian firms, with employment opportunities to around 8,000 people.
“The order, worth Rs 7,523 crore, will provide a further boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative in the defence sector and is a big step towards achieving ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” the MoD added.
Tamil Nadu is emerging as the manufacturing and service hub for aerospace and defence industries in the country. The defence corridor plan is identified in Chennai, Trichy, Salem, Hosur and Coimbatore as areas of focused development. Tamil Nadu has also unveiled an exclusive Aerospace and Defence Industry Policy back in 2019. The (CVRDE) in Chennai is the main DRDO lab involved in the development of Armoured fighting vehicles, Tanks, Automotive electronics and many others. With the right ecosystem in place and given the State’s strengths in auto, IT and electronics, the Tamil Nadu government is all set to attract investments in the emerging areas of automotive and allied sectors.
Yogi Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh is emerging as a favourite destination of many foreign companies who want to set up a manufacturing unit in India. It has emerged as the top investment destination; companies from the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Germany, and South Korea have shown interest in setting up their manufacturing units/corporate offices in the state and have proposed investments worth 45,000 crore rupees which will create 1.35 lakh jobs in the state. PM Modi back in 2018 had announced a Rs 20,000 crore defence industrial corridor in Bundelkhand. The corridor will have six nodes in UP – Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Kanpur and Lucknow.
In August 2021, the Yogi Adityanath government announced that two companies are investing over Rs 580 crore to make drones for the state which is a major push to the defence corridor in Uttar Pradesh. Moreover, many domestic and foreign companies have shown interest in setting up defence-related projects in the state, memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) worth Rs 50,000 crore was signed during the Defence Expo held in Lucknow in 2020 as per the government sources.
The Central Government has initiated these policies to bring reforms and promote self-reliance in defence manufacturing to encourage indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment in the country and to reduce its dependency on imports in the long run. It further promotes the growth of private domestic manufacturers, MSMEs and start-ups in the defence sector.
The UP government’s proactive approaches and efficient administration had attracted many foreign companies and manufacturing units to the state, and now Tamil Nadu is also following UP’s path in leading India in its approach towards self-reliance and sustainability in the defence manufacturing industry.