Move to promote indigenisation of defence procurement

The Indian Air Force has reached out to private domestic industry to pick up opportunities for repair and maintenance job for its platforms - a move to promote indigenisation of defence procurement under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat program.

At an industry interactive conference and B2B meetings organised by the PHDCCI at its headquarters here, Air Marshal Vibhas Pande, Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance of Indian Air Force, said the repair will not only reduce cost and failures but will also ensure better performance of equipment in the long run. For that he asked MSMEs to join the indigenisation efforts of the IAF.

“The indigenisation definition would be to have a wider perspective in terms of repair, refurbishment, upgradation, increasing longevity and upgradation. One of the crucial elements in the sector is repair which will not only reduce the cost and failures of the equipment but also ensure better performance in the long run. Many hit and trials are required so the need arise of creating a separate manual of indigenisation, which is now a necessity for Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” Air Marshal Vibhas Pande told the gathering.

The IAF has got the largest share of the defence capital budget at ₹56,851.55 crore, which showed a hike of about 4.5 per cent from the previous 2021-22 financial year. To encourage private participation in the production of defence industry which has become a necessity due to problems faced by the forces to source spares because of the Russia-Ukraine war, the government is pushing for Make in India. Sixty-eight per cent capital expenditure was earmarked in this budget for indigenous weapons purchases, beside 25 percent was also allocated for Research and Development (R&D) for in-house start-ups and private players.

More Engagement Sought

Joint Secretary (Aerospace) Chandraker Bharti sought more engagement of MSMEs in the defence sector. The current participation of 12,000 MSMEs, according to him, for development of equipment is very small compared to the scenario in other nations, the PHDCCI quoted him as having said.

Time-bound payments, felt Bharti, will be of much help for MSMEs to thrive and at the same time reduce the foreign exchange burden on the country. He urged all industry members and all stakeholders to come forward and handhold the MSMEs, said the PHDCCI.