Lucknow: Over 200 partnerships involving signing of MoUs, transfer of technology and product launches took place on the third day of DefExpo-2020 at a ceremony titled Bandhan.

The pacts, aimed at forging and renewing partnerships for innovative collaboration and transformation of defence manufacturing in the country, were inked by representatives of various defence PSUs, Indian private and foreign companies.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh termed the signing of MoUs as a step in the direction to achieve Prime Minister''s $5 billion defence export target in the next 5 years.

"The Defence PSUs and Indian defence private industry were better placed today to lead India as the emerging research and development hub of the world leveraging the sharp minds of Indian youth," Singh said.

"The liberalised licensing regime brought out by the government would surely attract large investments by both Indian and global companies," the minister stressed.

Among those MoUs signed, 23 of them were by Uttar Pradesh government. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said these MoUs envisage Rs 50,000 crore investment in the Defence Corridor set up in the state which would generate 3 lakh job opportunities. He said investments coming to the state were secure and that the state investment policy was most attractive in the country.

He also announced that HAL would soon supply Dornier 19-seat civilian aircraft to UP.

Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary, said this DefExpo would be remembered for many firsts -- including for the signing of largest number of MoUs, transfer of technology and product launches.

The Bandhan ceremony witnessed more than 13 product launches, 124 MoUs between DPSUs, private and global defence manufacturing companies. A total 23 MoUs were signed between the UP government and private companies.

Defence Research and Development Organisation Chairman Sateesh Reddy said that it was DRDO''s duty to ensure that the Defence Corridor in Uttar Pradesh flourishes. DRDO has, therefore, signed a technological partnership agreement with the state government, imparting skill training, hand-holding and providing guidance in all aspects related to technology.

"A collaboration cell was already set up in the state to facilitate the process," he said.

He also mentioned that a research and development centre would be set up in the state. "Technology transfer was made available at no cost to companies in order to further the defence ecosystem in the country," Reddy said.

Further, the patents held by DRDO were given free to Indian companies to further develop technologies that would benefit Indian companies.

During the ceremony, a major announcement in the form of issuing the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) certificate of Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) was issued to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). LUH is designed and developed as a replacement for Cheetah & Chetak helicopters which are currently being operated by Indian armed forces.

LUH is a new generation helicopter in its class, incorporating the state-of-the-art technology features which will meet the emerging needs in this class of helicopters in the coming decades.

The Ordinance Factory Board launched Sharang, the 155mm artillery gun with 36 km range and handed over a model to Chief of Army Staff Gen M.M. Naravane. The Board also launched JVPC Alpha gun with 100 mt range, a Light Machine Gun of 800 mt range and the UBGL (Under barrel Grenade launcher).

Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) launched Amogha-3, the anti-tank guided missile. It is a man-portable fire-and-forget missile. The BDL also launched Varunastra, the anti-submarine torpedo, manufactured under the technological guidance of DRDO.