Defence manufacturing will get a shot in the arm with a series of projects set to be announced for the Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor, the second such hub in the country. The projects may include aerospace, hand-held weapons, parts of missiles and manufacture of composites. Secretary of Defence Production Mr Ajay Kumar said that the corridor will be developed on the existing defence ecosystem in the state and create synergy with its manufacturing base in terms of automobiles and components, information technology, textiles besides a large pool of engineering talent. He said the Tamil Nadu Defence corridor is expected to attract more initial investment than Rs. 3,700 crore announced when the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor was unveiled last year. “Tamil Nadu will be very good for aero components,” adding it has a proximity with Bengaluru with a reliable aero-industry base. The function to be held at Tiruchirappalli will be attended by Defence Minister Mrd Nirmala Sitharaman and will have Chennai, Hosur, Salem, Madurai, Coimbatore and Tiruchirappalli as major nodes. Two defence corridors were announced in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh in the Union Budget last year. The Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor at Aligarh last year saw announcement of investment of over Rs. 3,700 crore. The defence innovation hub will be based at Coimbatore, which has a large number of micro, medium and small enterprises. Mr Kumar said efforts are being made to attract these units to the defence sector and boost indigenisation. The innovation hub will have a common facility centre to be created through a special purpose vehicle. The government has already approved Defence Innovation Fund (DIF) to foster innovation and technology development in defence sector by engaging research institutions, academia, industry including MSMEs, start-ups and also individual innovators. An expert familiar with the project said that more than a dozen projects are expected to be announced for the Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor along with investment both by the private industry and public sector undertakings.
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