As a part of its defence and aerospace policy, the Maharashtra State Government is planning to establish dedicated defence hubs in five cities including Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad, and Ahmednagar. These defence hubs will have facilities like testing and research laboratories and test firing ranges.
Talking about the project with TOI, state minister for industries Subhash Desai said, “Several foreign companies, including those in Sweden and France, have evinced keen interests in setting up defence manufacturing facilities in Maharashtra. We have already asked the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) to create state-of-the-art common testing facilities for such investors.”
This policy is aiming to designate 200 acres of land in each of the five cities to develop townships and defence parks that will have missile integration and aerospace-related facilities. This project aims to attract a $2 billion investment in the defence and aerospace sectors and generate almost 1 lakh employment opportunities in the next five years.
“Prominent companies such as Reliance, Bharat Forge, Larsen and Toubro and Mahindra and Mahindra are already into defence production and have created a conducive ecosystem in this sector in Maharashtra. The state will also consider to upgrade its vocational and technical training courses to meet the human resource requirement of the companies investing in defence hubs,” Desai said.
Expressing his views about the policy, Air Marshal Bhushan Gokhale (retd) said, “Aerospace is one area where we are lagging. Moves such as the state’s new policy have the potential to bring a much-needed change. There are very few companies that are into manufacturing of civil aviation components.”
“In our report, we have recommended setting up of defence hubs to encourage local production. In this context, the Maharashtra government’s move is in the right direction,” said Lt-Gen. D B Shekatkar.
Information and cover image sourced from timesofindia