BENGALURU: To maintain its leadership position in defence and aerospace sectors in the country, the Karnataka Government is said to be thinking of tweaking its aerospace policy that was announced nearly a decade ago.With Karnataka contributing to over 65 per cent of defence and aerospace exports from the country, the state is aiming to sharpen its policy to maintain its edge, especially when the Central Government is focusing on domestic production under the Aatmanirbhar scheme.
The change in policy is to beat competition from Defence Industrial Corridors announced recently in other parts of the country. Changes will be made in the policy in consultation with industry experts, a senior officer from the Industries Department told TNIE.
“There is a thinking in the government to change the policy. The details are, however, yet to be worked out,” sources said, adding that the defence and aerospace manufacturing ecosystem in Karnataka has been developed over several decades and the state should have been considered by the Centre while announcing the Defence Industrial Corridors.
Gaurav Gupta, Additional Chief Secretary, Commerce and Industries, said that Karnataka was the first state in the country to announce the aerospace policy and the new industrial policy announced recently also has given importance to the sector.
Gunjan Krishna, Commissioner of Industries and Commerce, said that with two international and six domestic airports, Karnataka is well connected to key demand centres and logistic gateways. Research and Development, Aerospace and Defence Manufacturing, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul and Space Exploration are among the key opportunities in the sector in the state, he added.
At a seminar on “Aerospace and Defence Opportunities in Karnataka” at the ongoing Aero India 2021, Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar said that the State Government has taken a number of policy decisions to ensure ease of doing business by providing necessary support to industries.The new industrial policy has focused on attracting investments to Tier-II and Tier-III cities. “Bengaluru is among the most-preferred destinations for investors from across the world. But we want to take industries to other cities that have excellent air and road connectivity,” Shettar said.
Signature Park near KIA
The State Government is developing a Signature Park in a 400-acre land adjacent to the Kempegowda International Airport, Industries Department source said.
Deep-penetration system, drones to roll out of HAL
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has set 2024-25 as the deadline to develop its unique Combat Air Teaming System (CATS), a deep penetration attack platform that enables a fighter pilot to remain safely within the country’s borders, while being able to deploy missiles or drones deep into enemy territory to destroy targets. The defence public sector undertaking is also testing Rotary Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (RUAVs) which would deliver rations and supplies to soldiers at high altitude border posts. Plans are also on to develop an unmanned flying system that can fly at about 70,000 feet continuously for two-three months, to maintain surveillance on the ground below.
MoU signed to make composites
HAL on Thursday signed an MoU with Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI) at Aero India 2021 for development and production of composite raw materials. Composite raw materials, mainly Prepregs, used in platforms like LCA, ALH, LCH and LUH, are currently imported. It also signed a contract with GE Aviation to supply ring forgings for its engine programmes.