Indigenisation of technology has been the buzzword at the India defence and aerospace symposium – IDAS 2012 – held here on Wednesday.
“Indian aerospace is an area where we are looking at indigenisation of technologies,” Agni missile project director, Tessy Thomas, said while delivering the keynote address.
She said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) “need systems that are suitable to our environment”.
Honourary general secretary of Society of Indian Aerospace Technologies and Industries, Joseph Varkey, said that exemption of duty on imported components, while continuing to impose tax on components manufactured by the Indian companies, was hampering the progress of the indigenisation programme.
He said that this policy of the government with regard to taxation was making Indian components costlier than that of the imported material even though the basic cost (prior to taxation) of the domestic goods was around 10 per cent less than the foreign components. He wanted the defence sector to encourage small and medium enterprises by distributing the work to be done.
Varkey, however, said that 30-35 per cent of the technologies used in the defence programmes were currently indigenised. In the case of production of aircraft cables and batteries, India not only became self-sufficient but also started exporting.
US-based National Instruments (NI), which is showcasing its technologies for automated test systems and other applications in the aerospace and defence segments, said that it was strengthening its ecosystem of companies in India that could develop its products. NI currently has three large and about seven small partners in India.
“We are trying to provide hardware and software tools based on which indigenous technology could be developed,” NI business development manager (defence and telecom), Tarun Gupta, said adding that the company was now focusing on domain-specific partners.
The $1-billion company envisages that radio frequency algorithms, being developed at its research and development centre in Bangalore, would be the key growth areas.