UP defence corridor to become manufacturing hub for Brahmos missiles, drones, and aircraft: Rajnath Singh

18 June, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava

Rajnath Singh National

Rajnath Singh also highlighted that UP defence corridor will not be limited to manufacturing nuts and bolts or spare parts.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday announced that BrahMos missiles, drones, electronic warfare systems, and aircraft will be produced and assembled in the Uttar Pradesh defence corridor.

On Saturday, STRIVE think-tank, a veterans’ initiative, hosted a defence dialogue on “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” in Lucknow.  “The important thing is that there will not be only the manufacturing of nuts and bolts or spare parts in the UP defence corridor. Drones/UAVs, Electronic warfare, Aircraft and BrahMos missiles will be manufactured and assembled in this corridor,” told Rajnath Singh addressing the event.

He also disclosed that, as of this point, various entities have invested a combined total of about Rs 2,500 crore in the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor (UPDIC).

The defence minister added that self-reliance is not a choice but a necessity because of the dual threat to India’s borders and the emerging new dimensions of warfare in the quickly evolving modern world.

Rajnath Singh described a robust and independent military as the foundation of a sovereign state, noting that in addition to defending the nation’s borders, the army also preserves its history and culture.

The real strength lies in being “Aatmanirbhar,” he insisted, especially when an emergency situation arises. He claimed that the Government, under the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is ensuring that the Armed Forces are not dependent on foreign weapons and equipment.

Technology changed the way warfare was viewed, most weapons today are electronic-based systems: Rajnath Singh

He emphasised how the development of technology had changed the way that warfare was viewed. The defence minister put a lot of emphasis on the requirement to create indigenous, cutting-edge platforms and weapons that will equip and ready the armed forces to face new and emerging challenges.

“Most of the weapons today are electronic-based systems, which can reveal sensitive information to the adversaries. As imported equipment has certain limitations, we need to go beyond the horizon and achieve self-reliance in niche technologies. The latest weapons/equipment are equally important as the bravery of our soldiers. If India wishes to become a military power at the global level, there is no other option than being self-reliant in defence manufacturing,” Rajnath Singh told.

He outlined the steps the government has taken to build a strong defence ecosystem that would meet both domestic needs and the security requirements of allies. These include the creation of Defence Industrial Corridors (DIC) in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, the allocation of a record 75% of the defence capital procurement budget (roughly Rs. 1 lakh crore) to domestic industry in the fiscal year 2023–2024, a 25% R&D budget for private industry, and the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative & Technology Development Fund to support start-ups.

Defence production has led to over Rs 100,000 crore in defence production: Rajnath Singh

The defence minister emphasised that the government’s efforts over the past few years have led to over Rs 100,000 crore in defence production and almost Rs 16,000 crore in exports in the fiscal year 2022–23. He conveyed confidence that defence exports would soon surpass the Rs 20,000 crore threshold.

“We are moving ahead at an unprecedented pace to achieve the Prime Minister’s vision of making India a developed nation by 2047. The aim is to build an economically powerful and completely self-reliant India, which is also a net defence exporter,” Rajnath Singh said.

Chief Nodal Officer for UP DIC Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria (Retd), officers of the Armed Forces & DRDO and representatives of the industry and academia were present on the occasion.