Bengaluru: India is vigilant in the face of
attempts to change status quo at its border and prepared to
defeat any misadventures to defend its territorial integrity,
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday, amid the
continued military standoff with China.
“We have long witnessed unfortunate attempts to employ
force to change the status quo at our unresolved borders”, he
said at the inaugural ceremony of Aero India-2021, the
country’s premier Defence and aerospace show, at Yelahanka Air
Force Station here.
“India is vigilant and prepared to counter and defeat any
misadventures to defend our people and territorial integrity
at all costs,” the Minister asserted.
China and India are locked in a military standoff in
eastern Ladakh since May 5 last. The two countries have held
several rounds of military and diplomatic talks to resolve the
face-off, but no significant headway has been made so far.
Dubbed as Asia’s largest military aviation exhibition,
the three-day Aero India event commenced amid the COVID-19
pandemic with buzz around “Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant
India) and “Make in India” push.
With a combination of both physical and virtual
exhibition, the 13th edition of the biennial international
event is said to be the world’s first hybrid aerospace show.
Singh also said India plans to spend USD 130 billion on
Defence modernisation in the next 7-8 years with the focus on
domestic manufacturing of bigger and complex platforms.
The government has since 2014 brought in many reforms in
the defence sector to create a conducive ecosystem for
exports, Foreign Direct Investment and offset discharge, he
To achieve the twin goals of self-reliance and exports,
the government has set a target to achieve a turnover of Rs
1,75,000 crore in the field of Defence manufacturing,
including export of Rs 35,000 crore in Aerospace and Defence
goods and services, by 2024, Singh said.
“We plan to spend USD 130 billion on Defence
modernisation in the next seven to eight years”, he added.
Like many of its friendly countries, India also faces
threats and challenges emanating from multiple fronts, the
Defence Minister said, adding, the country was a “victim of
state-sponsored and state-inflicted terrorism which is now a
The government has taken several steps to strengthen the
country’s security apparatus recently.
Domestic manufacturing of bigger and complex defence
platforms has now become the focus of our policy under the
‘Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan’, he said.
Singh said he has been informed that about 540
exhibitors, including 80 foreign companies, Defence Ministers,
Delegates, Service chiefs and officials from more than 55
nations are participating in the Aero India event.
“It reflects the growing optimism of the global
community”, he said.
Singh also expressed gratitude to the Defence Ministers
from Maldives, Ukraine, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Comoros and
Madagascar who have attended this show in person, and many
others who are joining virtually.
Noting that India today offers a unique opportunity in
defence and aerospace manufacturing, he said, this opportunity
comes as a ‘Sangam’ of rising demand, greater innovation,
conducive policies and maturing ecosystem in defence and
aerospace manufacturing sector.
Over the years, the government has facilitated
establishment of wide-ranging production facilities, of
various defence equipment through Defence Public Sector
Undertakings and Ordnance Factories, he added.
Pointing out that India is one of the fastest growing
civil aviation markets in the world, the Defence Minister
said, with rising passenger and cargo traffic, demand for
aircraft and the related supply chains is increasing.
“India therefore holds a huge potential for investments in
the aerospace sector, particularly in manufacturing of aero
engines and sub-assemblies as well as in Maintenance Repair &
Overhaul, of Aircraft,” he said.
Singh invited business leaders from across the globe to
take advantage of the various initiatives of the government
and set-up manufacturing units in the country.
With focused attention being laid on promotion of exports
of defence products from the country, India is steadily
marching from Make in India towards Make for the World,
A high-level committee has been constituted for
authorising exports of major indigenous platforms to various
nations, leading to faster approvals, he added.
“Our vision is to make India one of the biggest countries
of the world in the Defence sector, from design to production,
with active participation of public and private sectors”, he
Noting that India has a vast coastline and its interests
also lie beyond the shores, Singh said it included people who
reside and work across continents, especially in the Indian
It was the government’s bounden duty to remain capable and
willing to assist them in times of natural calamities and
security challenges, he added.
Indian Ocean Region Defence Ministers Conclave, themed
on “Enhanced peace, Security and cooperation in the Indian
Ocean Region” is being held during the Aero India. PTI
Bengaluru: India is vigilant in the face of