Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be laying the foundation stone of the Rs 400 crore Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor project in Jhansi on Friday, a Central government move aimed at achieving strategic Independence. The Prime Minister will kick start the beginning of the significant project on the concluding three-day ‘Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv’ event being organised by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) along with the government of Uttar Pradesh. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the event on Wednesday.
The Centre has decided to set up two Defence Industrial Corridors in the country– one in Tamil Nadu and the other in Uttar Pradesh. The Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor has nodes at Agra, Aligarh, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Lucknow and Kanpur. For the Jhansi Node of the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor, the state government has made nearly 1,034 hectares of land available. Bharat Dynamics Ltd, a Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU), is setting up a plant for the propulsion system for Anti-Tank Guided Missiles in the Jhansi Node. It will be spread over 183 acres of land in Jhansi. The facility will involve an investment of Rs 400 crore. “The project is expected to provide direct employment to 150 people and indirect employment to nearly 500 people,” mentions a Defence Ministry statement. “The foundation stone of the project will be laid by the Prime Minister on November 19,” it further said.
Besides, the Prime Minister will dedicate and launch several new initiatives of MoD to the Nation in a grand ceremony being organised in the precincts of Jhansi Fort on Friday, which also is the birthday of Rani Lakshmi Bai, the epitome of bravery and courage and a great National icon of Rashtra Raksha and India’s Independence struggle. The Ministry of Defence has taken several steps to promote ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in defence in the last two years. These include the issue of positive indigenisation lists, earmarking of 64 per cent of capital procurement budget for the domestic industry, promotion of startups under Innovations For Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative, speeding up of capital acquisition process and setting up of Defence Industrial Corridors among others.
As a demonstration of the thrust on ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy are adopting indigenously designed and developed platforms for their use. Three platforms will be formally handed over by the Prime Minister to respective Service Chiefs on Friday. These platforms depict maturing of the Indian defence industry ecosystem with contributions from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), DPSUs and Defence industry and startups. The Prime Minister will hand over Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) designed and developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) to the Chief of the Air Staff Vivek Ram Chaudhari. LCH is a new addition to HAL’s Helicopter Division. This twin-engine helicopter is a dedicated combat helicopter of 5-8 tonne class.
The LCH incorporates advanced technologies and stealth features for effective combat roles and is designed to carry out roles such as destruction of enemy air defence, counterinsurgency, search and rescue, anti-tank, Counter Surface Force Operations etc. The LCH is the only attack helicopter in the world that can land and take off at an altitude of 5,000 m (16,400 ft) with a considerable load of weapons and fuel.
The Prime Minister will also hand over drones and UAVs designed and developed by Indian startups to the Chief of the Army Staff. Indian Army has decided to procure these drones from Indian industry and startups after detailed testing and trials. The deployment of Indian UAVs by the Indian Armed Forces is also proof of the growing maturity of the Indian drone industry ecosystem. The Prime Minister will hand over DRDO designed and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) manufactured Advanced EW suite for naval ships including that for Indian Aircraft Carrier Vikrant. The Advanced EW suite will be used in different naval ships including destroyers, frigates etc. and marks a big step towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
The ‘Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv’ programme on Friday will see the participation from Defence Minister, Raksha Rajya Mantri Ajay Bhatt, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other dignitaries. MoD is formally dedicating a number of schemes to the nation in the celebration titled ‘Rashtra Raksha Samparpan Parv’. These events are part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahaotsav’ celebrations.