The state government will establish dedicated defence hubs with facilities such as test firing ranges and testing and research laboratories in Pune, Nagpur, Ahmednagar, Nashik and Aurangabad as part of its recently unveiled defence and aerospace policy.“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,” state minister for industries Subhash Desai told over the phone.The new policy envisages earmarking of a land spread over 200 acres for each of these cities to develop defence parks and townships that will have facilities for missile integration, aerospace and its allied fields.
The aim is to attract $2 billion investment in the aerospace and defence sectors and create one lakh employment opportunities over the next five years.Desai said, “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.”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.