Chennai: The Indian military, with a budget outlay of about Rs 3 lakh crore this year, could soon scale down its massive dependence on imports with the NDA Government’s ‘Make-in-India’ programme taking shape in multiple forms. A significant sample of this was demonstrated on Saturday with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman formally handing over two types of indigenously built high-power/multi-fuel engines to run the Army’s mainstay battle tanks.
The engines manufactured by the Engine Factory, Avadi — a unit of Ordnance Factory Board, Department of Defence Production — were fully indigenised for the first time under the Centre’s ‘Make in India’ programme. “Earlier, we were importing some of the components for defence. Now, with these two engines produced by you, you have proved that the Army does not look outside (other countries) than to look at you,” Nirmala Sitharaman said at the handing-over celebration in the factory, 35 km from here. She presented the documents of the two types of engines to Vice Chief of Army Staff Degaraj Anbu.
The first engine of 1000 HP engine -- V92S2 engine -- powers T-90 Bhisma Tank, the second engine -- V-46-6 engine -- powers the T-72 Ajeya Tank and its variants are manufactured with ‘100 per cent Made in India’ parts, officials said, adding that earlier, the local content of the two engines was up to 73 per cent.
“You have made us proud,” Nirmala Sitharaman told the audience at the Avadi factory and appealed to the employees to produce products that are ‘world class’ so that such defence public sector undertakings need not depend entirely on the government orders but could also attract good business in domestic and overseas markets. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been encouraging the ‘Make in India’ programme since there was a thought that products engaged in country's security need to be locally sourced, she said.
Defence (Production) Secretary Ajay Kumar said though these engines were manufactured based on Russian design, India was depending on Moscow for its supply of critical assemblies like turbocharger, supercharger, and fuel injection pumps. “By localising the components for engine manufacturing, the country can save around Rs 800 crore for the next 10 years”, he said.
The indigenisation effort also exhibits the self-reliance of the Ordnance Factory Board in manufacturing these engines in India without any import support, officials said. The Engine Factory has manufactured more than 12,000 engines since its inception in 1987....