The Ministry of Defence on Tuesday signed an MoU to establish three state-of-the-art testing facilities in Chennai for the Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor, one each in unmanned aerial system, electronic warfare and electro-optics domains. The memorandum of understanding (MoU), under the Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS), was exchanged between senior officials of the ministry and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Limited in the presence of Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane in New Delhi, the ministry said in a statement.

With an outlay of ₹400 crore, the DTIS was launched by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in May 2020 to set up state-of-the-art testing facilities in collaboration with private industry and central or state government, promoting indigenous defence production, reducing military equipment imports and enhancing self-reliance, the statement said.

To provide impetus to the defence and aerospace sectors within the Defence Industrial Corridors, seven testing facilities were approved -- four in Tamil Nadu and three in Uttar Pradesh.

The MoU for three such facilities in Tamil Nadu was signed on Tuesday, the ministry said.

The DTIS provides up to 75 per cent government funding as a grant-in-aid, with the remaining 25 per cent funded by the special purpose vehicles (SPVs), comprising Indian private entities and state or central government, it added.

For the unmanned aerial system (UAS) testing facility, Keltron, a government of Kerala undertaking, is the lead SPV member, with some private sector companies being the consortium members. Bharat Electronics Limited and India Optel Limited are the lead SPV members in the electronic warfare and electro-optics testing facilities respectively, the statement said.

Upon the completion of the project, they will provide advanced testing equipment and services to both government and private industry, thus giving a boost to 'Atmanirbharta' in defence, it said.