HYDERABAD: The defence and aerospace sector of Hyderabad, which is key to India’s plans to become self-sufficient in defence manufacturing, is poised to bag orders worth over Rs 1 lakh crore in the next couple of years, especially with the Centre imposing a ban on imports of 101 weapons, platforms and equipment, G Satheesh Reddy, secretary of the department of defence R&D and chairman of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said on Thursday during a virtual Confederation of Indian Industry conclave on “Make in Telangana”.

Pointing out that DRDO has also recently submitted to the defence ministry a list of 108 items that have been identified for indigenous development only, Reddy said that this move along with the recent decision of the defence acquisition council to clear the acquisition of some more defence equipment is set to give a boost to the nearly 1,000 tier 1and 2 players out of the total 2,000 aerospace and defence manufacturing units in the state.
The defence acquisition council (DAC) has cleared some more electronics systems, air-to-air missile Astra is going through its final stages of acquisition and anti-tank missiles such as NAG and HELINA should be going through so the number I have said probably in the coming one or two years it may get doubled also… I can say that we are close to about 50% of it (Rs 1 lakh crore) in getting orders for Hyderabad based industries and labs,” Reddy said.

Pointing out that while BDL has received orders worth ₹25,000 crore for the Akash air defence missiles and negotiations are underway for orders worth another ₹10,000 crore, he said the private sector contribution in the buy value of the items being supplied for the missile system is about 85%, which means a chunk of the benefit of these orders will come to units in Hyderabad.

Reddy said they were taking steps to make private sector units a development partner from the beginning through measures such as technology development fund to encourage local industry to produce defence items. “Many more schemes are going to come out . If you see yesterday we have put up on our website the various things we are doing for supporting industry, be it tech support, consultancy, technical help or zero tech transfer fee or royalty for Indian industry... We have opened up more than 1,500 of our patents and put them up on our website for use by whoever wants for free.”

“Hyderabad is one of our very important centres for defence R&D and ministry of defence. The laboratories in Hyderabad have been contributing immensely and most of my budget today goes to Hyderabad only. A lot more measures will be coming up and in the next 2-3 years, many more products will be coming out that will support industry in Hyderabad in a big way,” he said.