New Delhi: In an important announcement on military technology, the Ministry of Defence will manufacture diesel-powered marine engines used in ships and also design and develop a heavy-lift helicopter for the three services. Both projects will have participation of the private sector.

The announcements were made at a seminar organised by the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) and the Society for Indian Defence Manufacturers here. Later,, PM Narendra Modi spoke at the same seminar, titled “Swavlamban” (self-reliance), and described the goal of self-reliance in the Indian defence forces.

“In the past four-five years, the defence imports have come down by 21 per cent. Today, we are moving fast to be a big exporter. Last year, Rs 13,000 crore worth of defence export was made,” Modi said. This figure of 21 per cent reduction, what Modi cited, is part of the report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in March. Comparing two five-year blocks — between 2012-16 and 2017-21 — it said Indian arms imports decreased by 21 per cent.