Poor state of defence manufacturing? Even parachute cloth not available in India to meet full requirement, says DGOF

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Ahmedabad | Updated: May 11, 2018 11:03 PM

Expressing concern over the state of defence manufacturing in India, Director General of Ordnance Factories S K Chourasia said today that even the parachute cloth is not available in the country to meet the "full requirement".

defence manufacturing, parachute cloth,  defence manufacturing in India, Defence Conclave 2018, defence news, Gujarat, Air Marshal R K DhirAddressing the ‘Defence Conclave 2018’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in Ahmedabad, Chourasia said entrepreneurs in Gujarat should focus on entering the defence manufacturing sector. (Representative image: PTI)

Expressing concern over the state of defence manufacturing in India, Director General of Ordnance Factories S K Chourasia said today that even the parachute cloth is not available in the country to meet the “full requirement”. Addressing the ‘Defence Conclave 2018’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in Ahmedabad, Chourasia said entrepreneurs in Gujarat should focus on entering the defence manufacturing sector. He said India received some of the parts of the tanks it manufactures about 30 years ago from Russia. “Still, we have to import some items.

Simple items like parachute cloth is still not available in our country to meet the full requirement,” he said. Chourasia, who is also the chairman of the Ordnance Factory Board, said India still imports 50 per cent of its total defence requirements. “Our comfort zone is readily available technology and infrastructure. That segment is considered (getting attention). But the segment (for) which the country is still importing is not being considered sometimes,” he said. ”

As a result, the percentage of imports is not reducing… This leads to over-competition as technology is available and we have many players. And where technology is not available, there is under-competition. As a result, we have to import,” he said.

Raising the same issue, Air Marshal R K Dhir, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South West Air Command, said there was an urgent need to build capacity for self-reliance in defence technology. He called for synergy and active interaction between end-users and manufacturers. Though “strong research and development” facilities are available in the country, Defence Research and Development Organisation is not able to retain talent in R&D, he said.

“For R&D activity, defence budget allocation is just 5 per cent. Only that much goes into R&D in India. The same is almost 15 per cent in France,” he said. He urged entrepreneurs, especially those from Gujarat, to tap the vast potential of the defence manufacturing sector.

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