The Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday urged the prime minister to set up a dedicated defence industry corridor and an aeronautical university in the state.
In a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said Odisha had a comprehensive ecosystem and state-of-the-art industrial infrastructure facilities for indigenous design, development and manufacturing in defence and aerospace sector.
Listing some of the key competitive advantages of the state, Patnaik said it was the largest producer of steel, stainless steel and aluminium in the country with availability of defence and aerospace grade products from the mother plants of the SAIL, the Tata Steel, the Hindalco industries and the NALCO.
The chief minister in his letter, which is made available to the press, also mentioned the existing manufacturing, O&M, testing and research ecosystem in the form of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)’s Aero Engine Facility at Koraput, the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, the DRDO Laboratory at Balasore and the Ordnance Factory at Bolangir.
Stating that more than 1,00,000 acres of industrial land bank and dedicated industrial region exist to support downstream industries in aerospace and defence sector, Patnaik said there was a large pool of skilled manpower and presence of national institutes of higher learning such as IIT, NIT, IIM, IIIT, NISER and XIMB.
“The state is also in advanced stages of promulgating a dedicated defence and aerospace manufacturing policy to promote cluster based development of the industry,” he said.
In view of these unique advantages in the state, the overall cost of production of defence and aerospace products would be very competitive, the chief minister said.
Under the circumstances, the prime minister was requested by Patnaik to set up a dedicated defence industry corridor in the state. It was also requested that the proposed aeronautical university to be set up in collaboration with the HAL could kindly be considered for setting up in Odisha to further strengthen the skill and R&D ecosystem.
Stating that Odisha government is committed towards the national vision of achieving self-reliance in defence and aerospace design and production, he said the state would ensure unmatched support for quick and successful establishment of both the defence industry corridor and aeronautical university.