Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on Wednesday, said the defence capital procurement budget for domestic industry will see a record hike of 75 per cent in FY24, which works out to approximately ₹1-lakh crore. This is up from 68 per cent, which was earmarked for the current financial year.

The Defence Ministry has been allocated a total budget of ₹5.94-lakh crore for FY24. The capital outlay pertaining to modernisation and infrastructure development has been increased to ₹1.63-lakh crore, said the Defence Minister during the Bandhan ceremony at the 14th Aero India.

Describing the decision as unprecedented, Rajnath Singh stated that the government’s efforts will strengthen the defence sector and minimise imports. “If you take one step, the government promises to take ten steps forward. You spoke of land to run on the path of development. We are providing you full sky. Earmarking three-fourth of the capital procurement budget for the local industry is a step in that direction,” he asserted.

The Bandhan ceremony saw the signing of 266 partnerships, including 201 MoUs, 53 major announcements, nine product launches and three Transfers of Technology worth around ₹80,000 crore, said the Ministry.

Major deals

The major deals include the MoU between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Safran Helicopter Engines, France, for work share for formation of joint venture for design, development, manufacture and life time support of helicopter engines. Another MoU was inked between Bharat Electronics Ltd and Aeronautical Development Agency on IWBC and other LRUs for Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), said the Ministry. Similarly, Gopalan Aerospace India Pvt Limited signed an MoU with Omnipol, Czech Republic, for the manufacture and assembly of the first passenger aircraft, L 410 UVP-E20 version, by a private company in India.

Co-operation between BSS Material Limited and Pegasus Engineering, US, has been reached for logistic drones for the Indian Army towards last-mile delivery for forward troops deployed along the border areas with the capability of operation in wind/gust and rain/snow conditions. An MoU was also inked between Bharat Dynamics Limited and Bultexpro Ltd, Bulgaria, to set up manufacturing facilities for 122mm GRAD BM ER and NONER rockets in India and fulfill the requirements (including ToT).

The Ministry highlighted that MoU between GRSE and Rolls-Royce Solutions GmbH (MTU) was signed for licence production with localisation of the MTU 16V4000M73L engine to support the indigenous content for next generation fast attack craft vessel for Indian Navy.

MoU on collaboration of Sagar Defence Engineering Private Limited (SDEPL) & Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for IDEX Challenge “Autonomous Weaponized boat Swarm” for Indian Navy. The Defence Minister also stated that the MoUs and ToTs completed during Bandhan will pave the way for enhanced FDI in defence and take the manufacturing in the sector to greater heights.