AeroIndia'23- Day 3

AeroIndia'23- Day 3

Thu, 02/16/2023 - 14:49
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Bengaluru, Feb 15

India earmarks 75 % defence capital procurement for Indian Companies

Record 75 per cent (approx. Rs one lakh crore) of the defence capital procurement budget has been earmarked for domestic industry in Financial Year (FY) 2023-24, up from 68 per cent in 2022-23. This was announced by Rajnath Singh during the Bandhan ceremony of 14th Aero India in Bengaluru on February 15. In FY 2023-24, Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been allocated a total Budget of Rs 5.94 lakh crore, which is 13.18 per cent of the total budget (Rs 45.03 lakh crore). Capital outlay pertaining to modernisation and infrastructure development has been increased to Rs 1.63 lakh crore.

Rajnath Singh termed the decision as an unprecedented step taken by the Government at the outset of ‘Amrit Kaal’ to further strengthen the defence sector and minimise import dependency. “If you take one step, the government promises to take ten steps forward. You spoke of land to run on the path of development. We are providing you full sky. Earmarking three-fourth of the capital procurement budget for the local industry is a step in that direction,” he said.

He exuded confidence that with this step, the Indian industry will come forward with more enthusiasm and contribute in making the defence sector more powerful and prosperous. He was of the view that a strong & self-reliant defence industry not only strengthens the security system of the country, but also bolsters the economy. He highlighted that, in the last few years, a domestic industry-friendly environment has been created in the country provides a runway for the local companies to grow and ensure holistic development of the nation while catering to the security needs of the friendly countries, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Make in India, Make for the World’.

The Bandhan ceremony also witnessed the forging of 266 partnerships including 201 MoUs, 53 major announcements, nine product launches and three Transfers of Technology, worth around Rs 80,000 crore.

Major agreements

  • MoU between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Safran Helicopter Engines, France for Work Share for formation of Joint venture for Design, Development, Manufacture and life time support of Helicopter Engines.
  • MoU between Bharat Electronics Ltd and Aeronautical Development Agency on IWBC and Other LRUs for Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).
  • Co-operation between BSS Material Limited and Pegasus Engineering, an ADUSEA Inc. Division (USA) for Logistic Drones for the Indian Army towards Last Mile Delivery for forward troops deployed along the border areas with capability of operation in wind/gust condition, rain/Snow etc.
  • MoU between Gopalan Aerospace India Pvt. Ltd. and Omnipol, Czech Republic for manufacturing and assembling of 1st passenger aircraft (L 410 UVP-E20 version) by a private company in India.
  • MoU on collaboration of Sagar Defence Engineering Private Limited (SDEPL) & Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for IDEX Challenge “Autonomous Weaponized boat Swarm” for Indian Navy.
  • MoU between Bharat Dynamics Limited and Bultexpro Ltd., Bulgaria for setting up the manufacturing facilities for 122mm GRAD BM ER and NONER rockets in India and fulfill the requirements (including ToT).
  • MoU between GRSE and Rolls-Royce Solutions GmbH (MTU) for License production with localization of the MTU 16V4000M73L engine to support the indigenous content for the Next Generation Fast Attack Craft vessel for Indian Navy.
  • BEML enters into License Agreement for Transfer of Technology (ToT) with R&DEE, DRDO for development and supply of TRAWL Assembly for T-72/T-90 Tanks.
  • ToT of Shakti EW System from DLRL DRDO to BEL Hyderabad Unit for all system units, Bill of Material, Test procedures, integration & offering methodology.
  • MoU between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Elta Systems Limited, Israel for cooperation on future Business in Maritime Patrol Radar (MPR) for Indian Platforms.


  • Vertically Launch Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (Bharat Dynamics Limited): VLSRSAM is a next-generation, ship-based, all-weather, air defence weapon which can be used by Navy as a quick reaction point defence against supersonic sea skimming targets like aircraft and UAVs. The Missile has a smokeless propulsion system with all-weather capability. It has a highly agile configuration with state-of-the-art Electronic Counter-Counter Measures features.
  • SAL Seeker ATGM for BMP II (Bharat Dynamics Limited): Semi-Active Laser Seeker based Anti-Tank Guided Missile for BMP-II is a subsonic missile with a range of 4,000 metres and flight time of 25 seconds. The missile weighs 23 kgs with the launch tube and can be used in different kinds of terrains to incapacitate the moving and stationary targets such as tanks and Infantry Combat Vehicles.
  • Jishnu (Bharat Dynamics Limited): Jishnu, a Drone Delivered Missile, is light weight and miniaturised missile targeted for soft-skinned targets. It has a range of 1.5 km with a flight time of 9 seconds. The missile can be semi-automatic or completely autonomous based on the systems configurations.
  • Software defined NAVIC/GPS receiver module based on indigenously-developed processors (Astra Microwave Products Limited).
  • Indigenously-built ‘Counter Drone Radar’ based on technology from DRDO (Astra Microwave Products Limited).  
  • 9 mm sub-sonic ammunition (Munitions India Limited).
  • BFT on Ios (ideaForge Technology Limited): BlueFire Touch BlueFire Touch, our Ground Control Station (GCS) software, is built to plan and command both mapping and surveillance missions with the ability to pre-plan missions based on operational area and target locations via waypoint-based navigation.
  • HF SDR Radio (Bharat Electronics Limited): It is an advanced software defined radio. The radio is lightweight 20 W transmit capable radio. It provides a complete solution to the short-range communication requirements in the crowded HF band and long-range communications beyond line of sight.
  • Goniometer (Bharat Electronics Limited): It is part of any integrated observation and fire control monitoring system for day time or night time use by the Artillery.

Rajnath Singh stated that the MoUs and ToTs completed during Bandhan will pave the way for enhanced FDI in defence and take the manufacturing in the sector to greater heights. He defined Bandhan as not just an agreement between two sides limited to economic benefit, but a new resolution to bolster the nation in the defence domain. He also emphasised that the partnerships forged with friendly countries will take their bilateral collaboration with India to the next level.


The minister stated that Aero India showcased to the world the ‘New Defence Sector’ of ‘New India’, which has not only grown in the last few years, but is now fully ready to walk alongside the defence sectors of leading countries. He expressed satisfaction that the event paved the new way to strengthen the Indian defence industry, terming it as the beginning of a new era of ‘Aatmanirbharta’. He exuded confidence that the sector will move forward strongly on the path of progress with new energy and determination.

Rajnath Singh described Karnataka as one of those historical states which has been consistently contributing to the country’s economic progress. He stated that there could not be a better place than Karnataka to organise Aero India as the state has attracted local as well as international industries with its robust R&D manufacturing ecosystem.

Complete Indigenisation of Arms & Ammunition must 

In line with the Government’s policy to reduce foreign dependence and achieve self-reliance in defence, the Indian Navy, in collaboration with Department of Defence Production, conducted a seminar on the topic ‘Aatmanirbharta in Aero Armament Sustenance’ during Aero India 2023 in Bengaluru on February 15, 2023. Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt was the Chief Guest of the seminar. He emphasised on complete indigenisation of arms and ammunition in the Armed Forces. 

The MoS commended the response of the Armed Forces to the government's clarion call for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, also expressing satisfaction over the fact that many indigenous projects in the defence sector are being taken forward by DRDO, DPSUs and private industries. He stated that looking at the overwhelming response of the private industry, Ministry of Defence has come out with several policy decisions to encourage their participation for the progress of the nation. He stressed the need to work together to fulfil the goal which a strong and self-reliant India, as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

In his address, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar said, “The contemporary security canvas is characterised by increasing uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity amongst nations, leading to a world of ‘permacrisis.’ In overcoming these challenges, among the instruments of national power, a well-equipped, technologically-enabled and efficiently supported modern military will remain critical.” 

The Chief of the Naval Staff added that the Indian Navy has established a three-tier organisation under Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation to further synchronise and stimulate our collaboration with the industry. This seminar is organised to bring key stakeholders to a common platform, so that we can share our requirements and, listen to your constructive ideas, inputs and challenges.

The aim of the seminar was to highlight the opportunities and challenges involved in realising missile sustenance of the tri-services through Indian industry and to achieve the following three-fold objectives: 

· To highlight the scope of work in terms of various missiles held in the Indian Navy inventory proposed to be life extended and sustained in the coming years.

· To emphasise the various advantages accrued by the private sector, in terms of understanding the nuances of sustaining missiles/armaments.

· To discuss the technical expertise and resources available with various stake-holders within the country and take feedback from user, R&D labs, vendors and QA agencies on the opportunities and challenges towards realising missile sustenance for the tri-services through private industry. 


The seminar provided a platform to key stakeholders from the MoD, User, maintainer, QA agencies, DRDO, DPSUs and the Indian industry to engage in detailed panel discussions on the Govt’s initiative and way-ahead for Industry partners to participate in taking on sustenance of missiles held with the Armed Forces. 

Government’s clarion call for ‘Aatmanirbharta’ has been responded well by both the Armed Forces and Indian industry towards achieving self-reliance in the area of defence production. Recent efforts in the designing & development of complete indigenous systems by private industries have yielded notable success and boosted confidence of private industry to take-on more projects. It has, thus, become essential for the Armed Forces to ensure maintenance and sustenance of the existing weapons and systems over the next few years of transition when the imported inventory will be phased out and replaced altogether with indigenous weapons. 

Ministry of Defence had issued a policy in August 2022 on Life Extension and refurbishment of missiles for the three services through equal partnership between Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and private industries in order to build greater momentum in indigenisation and for promoting a level playing field. Such a landmark policy opens several avenues to the private industry for partnerships with foreign OEMs, DRDO labs and DPSUs to fulfil the critical need of the Armed Forces in Life Extension, refurbishment, maintenance and sustenance of the existing inventory of foreign origin missiles. 

Based on the experience/expertise gained by Indian Navy in undertaking Life Extension of missiles held in inventory, there is a need to provide detailed insight to industry partners on the work entailed in undertaking sustenance of missiles. 

The day is not far when self-reliance in armaments is wholly realised and the focus would shift towards ensuring sustenance and upgradation of these indigenised armaments by concerted efforts of private industries spread across the Indian sub-continent. Therefore, the conduct of subject seminar is of utmost importance for realising Government’s vision of achieving AatmaNirbharta in missile sustenance for the Armed Forces.

Defence Minister Hails Startups

Speaking at the Start-Up Manthan at Aero India 2023 today, defence minister Rajnath Singh equated Start-ups with new energy, new commitment and new enthusiasm. He said that start-ups are more open to adopting new technology architecture, making them essential to India’s progress. The minister applauded the growth of Indian start-ups in every sector, with numbers increasing to approximately one lakh today, including more than 100 unicorns. He added that this shows the enthusiasm of our youth and their drive to innovate. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also launched the Ninth edition of Defence India Startup Challenges (DISC 9) on “Cybersecurity” with 28 problem statements, and the iDEX Investor Hub (iIH). More than Rs 200 crores have already been pledged under iIH by leading Indian investors. 

Rajnath said that the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative, launched under the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) under the Ministry of Defence, has enabled talent from across the country to come forward. Our Services, DPSUs, Coast Guard as well as organisations under the Home-Ministry are giving problem statements to our youth, who are rising to the challenge every time, he mentioned. He noted that India is supporting its youth to innovate, thereby empowering them to become job creators and manufacture indigenous defence products and reduce our dependence on imports. Appreciating the enthusiastic response of start-ups, industry and other participants to the “Start Up Manthan”, he expressed confidence that India would emerge as a light house for the world in the field of innovation. He added that the event was a festival of the Indian Defence start-up ecosystem and an indicator of the success of iDEX. He said, “iDEX has helped the development of several home-grown technologies and has provided an important platform to showcase innovations and technological developments. Start-Ups that have developed because of iDEX are also getting orders, which has fostered the Start-Up ecosystem in the country. iDEX has also given professionals the opportunity to understand futuristic technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Augmented reality, and Block-chain.” 

The minister informed that iDEX has introduced several innovators to the market, leading to direct and indirect employment generation for our skilled, and semi skilled workers. In recognition of its impact, the platform was given the PM Award in the Innovation category, he informed. He also mentioned that the Ministry of Defence has established a simplified, fast track procedure for procurement from start-ups and MSMEs due to their employment generation potential. He said that iDEX has contributed to Aatmanirbharta in the Defence ecosystem and emphasised the government’s commitment to support entrepreneurs through new opportunities and facilitate development of technologies through policy interventions. To this end, the government has introduced various grants to encourage innovators and start-ups, he said. 

Rajnath also said that India could not take advantage of the industrial revolution due to colonialism, which continues to affect several third world countries. He highlighted the need to change the parameters of competition to enable developing countries to catch up. He emphasised the need to re-define competition for development and move away from reliance on obsolete technologies and systems of production. Innovating in new sectors will enable us to reduce the gap between nations, he said. Giving the example of UPI payments as an innovation developed by Indian youth and introduced to the world, He said that even developed nations are studying this technology to learn.  He called for introducing similar innovations in existing methods or developing new technologies to usher in the next Generation Industrial Revolution. Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh exhorted all participants in Start-Up Manthan to go beyond our nation’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’ and move to a new mantra of ‘Design our Destiny’, hailing youth as the designers of India’s future. 

DISC 9 is the first collaboration of iDEX with Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (i4C) division of Ministry of Home Affairs. These challenges have been curated from Services, DPSUs, and Ministry of Home Affairs, revealing the deep impact and interest iDEX has generated amongst our Defence industry. The winners of DISC 6, first three editions of iDEX Prime, and Open Challenge 5 & 6 were also felicitated. Phase 1 winners of challenges under Mission DefSpace were announced and felicitated. Innovators showcased futuristic technology developments in the domains of Autonomous Systems, Advanced Sensors, Space Technology, and Industry 4.0 at a static exhibition of start-ups supported by iDEX-DIO. 

The ‘iDEX Investor Hub’ aims to accelerate investment in the Defence sector and give investors a unified view of opportunities and innovations. Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) also signed MoUs with leading investors at Manthan. Another MoU was signed with Axis Bank. DIO has also signed MoUs with ISRO, IN-SPACe, and ISpA to further strengthen the Defence Space. Another MoU was signed with the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to potentially launch start-up challenges in the future. The fourth edition of Innovate4Defence internship (i4D) was also launched, inviting applications from students all over India. 

He also released the Indian Army’s compendium of 110 Problem Statements for indigenous defence research, design, development and manufacturing ecosystem. The Problem Statements highlight Indian Army’s technological challenges and requirements in various domains ranging from Armament, Surveillance & Fire Control Systems to niche domains such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Metaverse, Robotics, Quantum Technology, Cyber, Smartisation of Ammunition etc. Further, they also involve induction of new technologies, upgradation of existing systems & indigenisation of critical components. This Compendium would enable focused efforts towards modernising the Indian Army with indigenous solutions, thereby building a stronger and Atmanirbhar Bharat. Industry and Academia will be hand-held by Indian Army through various research and development routes including iDEX, Technology Development Fund (TDF) and Army Technology Board (ATB). 

iDEX-DIO also signed its 200th contract with a winner of the Indian Navy Prime challenge launched under the SPRINT initiative. 

Defence Secretary holds talks with several Defence Delegations 

Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane met a number of defence delegations on the sidelines of Aero India 2023 at Bengaluru on 14 February 2023. 

A bilateral meeting was held with UAE delegation led by Matar Salem Ali Marran Aldhaheri, Defence Secretary,  Ministry of Defence,  UAE. They discussed a number of ongoing defence cooperation issues and expressed satisfaction at the regular military engagements. 

Defence Secretary met a Myanmar delegation led by Lt Gen Kan Myint Than, Chief of Defence Industries. The ongoing defence cooperation issues were discussed. 

A bilateral meeting was held with Brazil. The Brazilian delegation was led by Maj Brig Rui Chagas Mesquita, Head of Secretariat for Defence Production. They discussed a number of defence industrial cooperation issues and the possibilities for further cooperation.  

Defence Secretary met a Cambodia delegation led by Gen Yun Min, Secretary of State, Ministry of National Defence. They reviewed the current cooperation between the two countries and discussed ways to enhance the defence cooperation. 

A bilateral meeting was organized with Katerina Gramatikova, Deputy Minister of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria with Defence Secretary. Issues related to defence industrial cooperation were discussed. 

A Mauritius delegation led by Kechan Balgobin, Permanent Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office, Government of Mauritius met Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane. They considered the ongoing and future defence cooperation matters and exchanged views on important issues.