Hyderabad has become a global destination for defence companies looking to establish manufacturing or research units. The city has attracted biggies such as GE, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky in the past.
Lockheed Martin is carrying out three projects in Hyderabad- making F16 Wings, empennage parts for C-130 and metal-to-metal bonding.
Telangana Today reports, Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary, Industries & Commerce, Telangana, said, Hyderabad has been attracting defence establishments since 1960. The city today hosts a dozen defence labs and public sector units. From 2000 onwards, there has also been a growth in the private sector participation in defence. Over the years, aerospace and defence sector has evolved in and around Hyderabad.
The aerospace and defence cluster growth is happening with a lot of interest in the second phase of aerospace park now. Existing companies are looking to expand their operations and new companies are coming. In December, another major international project will be announced. This is a good sign, he said.
To boost the opportunities in the sector, Ranjan adds, “Hardware prototyping hub T-Works can create a prototyping centre exclusively for defence so that more innovation can happen. Defence sector will be potentially a big user of the infrastructure at T-Works. SMEs can’t have such facilities as it is too expensive. Many times, prototyping doesn’t lead into products so there is an affordability associated with it.”
T-Works in addition to defence is seeing interest from fibre glass, plastics, electrical goods and other conventional sectors.
Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS), a joint venture of Kalyani Group and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, Israel, is exploring new products to serve Indian defence wings as well as opportunities in the automotive space.
Currently, the manufacturing facility is integrating and testing SPICE 2000 kits (electro optics/GPS-guided guidance kits for converting air-droppable unguided bombs into precision guided bombs) for Indian Air Force.
Aerospace and defence are the sectors where self-reliance has become extremely important to reduce import dependency by enhancing production and creating more jobs. The Defence Procurement Policy has given a push for indegenisation since 2016 onwards, but there is a need to bring more MSMEs into the fold, both in terms of their participation and reforming outsourcing norms, point out experts at the second edition of Defence Conclave organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in Hyderabad recently.
CII Telangana chairman Sanjay Singh speaking on the occasion said, there remain certain challenges in the sector particularly with the MSMEs not having robust linkages in the ecosystem. Cost of testing products is still high, which is a concern.
Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary, Industries & Commerce, Telangana said, “Hyderabad has seen emergence of large number of MSMEs in the defence sector. There are 983 companies operating in this segment today, primarily concentrated in Sanathnagar, Kushaiguda and Balanagar besides other areas.”
If the MSMEs step up their technology adoption, there could be more opportunities in the aerospace and defence sector. The way automotive sector has embraced latest technologies, defence sector can also gain from it. Telangana government has always supported the MSMEs with the needed incentives and Hyderabad will continue to offer its value proposition for the industry, he added.