Gujarat which is looking to make a mark in indigenous production of defence equipment is in the process of preparing a policy on defence manufacturing, official sources said Wednesday.
“Gujarat is also in the process of preparing it’s policy for defence manufacturing. But we are waiting for the Government of India’s policy, because both the policies have to be complimentary and supplementary to each other,” said Manoj Aggarwal, vice-chairman and MD of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), while speaking at the inaugural session of Defence Conclave 2015.
“At present the defence production policy of 2011 is in existence, which encourages the manufacture of defence equipment in the state,” he said adding that the state with more than six lakh registered MSMEs providing employment to over 39 lakh people “can contribute immensely” to this sector. “As far as manufacture of defence equipment is concerned, GIDC is ready to play it’s part,” Aggarwal added.
Speaking at the same event, Devanshu Gandhi, Chairman of CII Gujarat State Council and MD of Vadilal Industries told the gathering at the conclave that NDA government has granted about 22 industrial licences to Gujarat to set up defence manufacturing units in the state.
These licenses have been given during since May 2014 and attempts to set up defence manufacturing bases in Kutch, Bhavnagar, Amreli, Surat, Bharuch and other districts of the state.
Among those who have been granted these licences by the Modi government recently include AMW Motors who will be manufacturing light armoured vehicles, infantry mobility vehicles, armoured recovery vehicles, shelters and containers for military applications, bullet proof jeeps and troop carriers, special attack and surveillance vehicles and others in Kutch district.
In October 2014, Vadodara-based Swallow systems Pvt Ltd has been granted licences to manufacture mini and micro UAV with ground support systems, composite aerospace components and UAV training simulators and avionics.
In this year, Pipavav Defence & Offshore engineering Company Ltd has been given a host of permission including those to manufacture helicopters, aircraft and their parts, electro optical systems like thermal imaging cameras, underwater systems like hull-mounted sonars, medium tanks, medium artillery guns, launchers or ground control and support equipment in Amreli district of the state.
Modest Infrastructure Ltd has been given approval to manufacture anti-submarine/torpedo nets, and hull penetrators and connectors specially designed for military use in Bhavnagar district.
Other like Fedders Lloyd Corporation Ltd has been granted licences to build all types of heavy weapons, artillery guns, Howitzers etc in Bharuch district, while Asteria Aerospace has been given licences to build unmanned aerial vehicles specially designed for military application in Kheda district.
Among the companies who are presently into defence manufacturing in Gujarat include ABG Shipyard Limited which has been granted clearance to manufacture naval warships, naval support ships, submarines and underwater vessels, fast attack crafts and various weapons and equipment at Magdala Bundar in Surat and Bharuch. Larsen & Tubro also has one of the biggest defence manufacturing unit at Hazira near Surat.