Defence ministry to set up 3 testing facilities in TN

For the UAS testing facility, Keltron, a Kerala-government undertaking, is the lead SPV member, with some private companies being consortium members.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.(File Photo | PTI)

CHENNAI: The Defence Ministry will be establishing three state-of-the-art testing facilities in Chennai — of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), Electronic Warfare (EW)and Electro Optics (EO) domains — under the Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor.

According to the ministry’s directorate of public relations, this comes after a memorandum of understanding under the Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS) was exchanged between senior ministry officials and TN Industrial Development Corporation Limited in the presence of defence secretary Giridhar Aramane in New Delhi on Tuesday. It is learnt that to provide impetus to the defence and aerospace sectors within the defence industrial corridors, seven testing facilities were approved — four in TN and three in Uttar Pradesh.

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

For the UAS testing facility, Keltron, a Kerala-government undertaking, is the lead SPV member, with some private companies being consortium members. Bharat Electronics Limited and India Optel Limited are the lead SPV members in the EW and EO testing facilities, respectively. The DTIS provides up to 75% government funding with the remaining 25% funded by the special purpose vehicles, comprising Indian private entities and state/ central governments.

The coming up of these testing centres in TN is set to significantly boost the local ecosystem. MSMEs and other companies in the state will gain access to world-class testing infrastructure without the need for substantial capital expenditure. Additionally, these facilities will facilitate interaction with major defence public sector undertakings in the country, fostering greater collaboration and innovation in the defence sector.

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