India’s defence and aerospace sector is making significant advancements every day, with new developments highlighting the government’s commitment to “Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” or self-reliant India. The “Make in India” initiative is driving the country’s defence manufacturing sector to new heights while promoting a self-sufficient approach and modernization of its armed forces. The pursuit of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” was praised at the Aero India show.
Aerospace graded steel alloys
As part of this effort, state-owned HAL and Bharat Forge Limited have signed an agreement to domestically manufacture steel alloys of aerospace grade. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the agreement is also signed. On the part of HAL Foundry & Forge (F&F) Division, Saarloha Advanced Materials Pvt Ltd has signed the MoU.
According to the director of Saarloha Advanced Materials Pvt Ltd, R K Goyal, “Manufacturing of specialty steel would play a significant role in realising the success of national aerospace & defence programmes under ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.”
Guru Biswal, the CEO of Aerospace Division of Bharat Forge portrayed the limitations of India in this sector.
Agreement of real ‘Aatmanirbharta’
Prior to this agreement, India relied on foreign manufacturers to import the necessary alloys for the aerospace industry. This dependence posed a significant challenge as there were no approved or qualified domestic suppliers to fulfil the requirements. However, with the new agreement in place, India can reduce its dependence on foreign manufacturers and achieve self-sufficiency in the aerospace industry.
This will not only strengthen India’s defence capabilities but also help the country save money and time by producing these critical alloys domestically. Moreover, achieving self-sufficiency will also help India become a leading player in the global aerospace industry, leading to new business opportunities and employment generation.
It is worth noting here that, while there is an increase in indigenous production of aircrafts and helicopter, there is an obvious requirement of the raw material. Procuring raw material from foreign countries and manufacturing in India is not a long-term sustainable plan for indigenous manufacturing. For complete self-reliance, the raw material should also be procured locally without any compromise in quality. Thus, this steel gains significance in this sense. India is the second largest producer of crude steel in the world which can prove to be a strength in this initiative.
Also read: With new doctrine IAF takes its biggest strategic shift ever
Fulfilling Air Force’s needs
On the part of HAL, it will help in fulfilling its commitment to the Indian Armed Force. The doctrine released by the Indian Air Force justified the need for shifting the focus of Air Force to aerospace. The doctrine called for transformation of the Air Force to Aerospace Force with complete modernisation. The Indian Air Force doesn’t just want to increase its capability equivalent to other forces. Instead, it wants to compete with itself only and reach unparalleled heights. The perspective is simply future oriented.
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