Making a strong pitch for increased private sector participation in the defence production sector, defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said the government had set an arms export target of $5 billion in the next five years and aims to double the turnover of the domestic aerospace industry by 2024.

“In our envisaged defence production policy, we have clearly spelt out our goal to achieve a turnover of $26 billion in aerospace, defence goods and services by 2025, involving an additional investment of nearly $10 billion and creating employment for nearly 2-3 million people,” said Singh, speaking at the ET-GBS here.

“This will have huge implications for India’s endeavours to promote R&D, innovation and its efforts to secure a place in global supply chains,” he said, adding the government had taken a slew of structural reforms to create increased synergy between the public sector and private industry to overcome the challenges of private investment in defence.

Assuring the private sector of “all possible support”, Singh said the defence production has been identified as a key sector to realise the government’s vision of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2024.

The government’s intention is not just limited to ushering in reforms but also to act as an incubator, catalyst and facilitator for promoting investments and achieving self-reliance in defence manufacturing. “We understand defence R&D in the private sector will take time to establish itself. To give a boost to this process, we have opened opportunities through DRDO with a zero fee for transfer of technology (ToT), free access to over 450 patents, access to test facilities and an upfront funding of up to Rs 10 crore. More than 900 licensing agreements for ToT have been signed with industries,” he said.

The government is providing opportunities to the private sector to manufacture fighter aircraft, helicopters, tanks and submarines through the “Strategic Partnership” model, which will allow private companies to grow in stature and become global giants in the coming years, he said.