Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday appreciated the outcomes of the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme as he stated that over 10,000 MSMEs have joined the defence sector, with an increase being witnessed in research and development, start-ups and innovations.

Addressing the 5th Annual Session of Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), the minister also urged the defence industry to realise Modi’s vision of a ‘New India’. “Indian defence industry to identify and manufacture state-of-the-art, cost-effective products and technologies to realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a ‘New India’ that not only caters to its own needs, but also fulfils international requirements.”

1.75 crore target

Singh was of the view that the government's efforts have started to yield positive results as there has been an increase in the number of contracts being awarded to the domestic industry which is also reflective of recent surge in defence stocks. “Seven-eight years ago, our defence exports were not even ₹1,000 crore. They have now crossed ₹13,000 crore. We have set a target of ₹1.75 lakh crore of defence production by 2025, which includes export of ₹35,000 crore,” said Rajnath Singh.

He also termed the SIDM, which organised its 5th annual session on the theme ‘India@75: Shaping for India@100’, as a bridge between the government and the industry and reached out to the companies to approach the association with any queries and grievances. He assured all support of Defence Ministry in this endeavour.

The minister felicitated representatives of Bharat Electronics Limited, Bharat Forge Ltd and Larsen & Toubro Ltd —the winners of the 2nd edition of SIDM Champions Award in different categories.

DRDO's successful missile test flight

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted two successful test flights of Very Short Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) missiles on Tuesday from a ground based portable launcher at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha. The VSHORADS is a "Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPAD) designed and developed indigenously by DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad, in collaboration with its other laboratories and Indian industry partners.

The missile incorporates many novel technologies including miniaturized Reaction Control System (RCS) and integrated avionics, which have been successfully proven during the tests, the DRDO said. The missile, meant for neutralizing low altitude aerial threats at short ranges is propelled by a dual thrust solid motor, it explained. The design of the missile including the launcher has been highly optimised to ensure easy portability. DRDO states that both the flight tests have completely met the mission objectives.

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