Himachal Futuristic Communications enters defence manufacturing business

HFCL secures industrial licences to make electronic warfare systems, radar equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles, aircraft, tank vehicles among others

Mumbai: Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd, a telecom infrastructure company, on Monday said it is entering into the defence equipment manufacturing business.

According to the website of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, the company has secured industrial licences to make electronic warfare systems, radar equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles, aircraft, tank vehicles, electro optical equipment and ammunition devices.

With 60% of India’s defence requirements met through imports, local defence production is at the heart of the Make In India programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in 2015.

The idea of ‘Make In India’ is now more than 18 months old. Launched on 25 September 2014, it was the Modi’s brainchild, aimed at promoting India as the world’s next manufacturing destination and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).

Under the programme, the government has awarded 56 defence manufacturing permits to private sector entities in the past one year compared with 47 granted in the preceding three years. In August 2014, the government allowed 49% FDI in defence.

Himachal Futuristic Communications has already been granted industrial licences for a range of products which include electronic fuses, electro optical devices and communication equipment along with the permit for assembling electronic warfare systems, radars and the design, development and manufacturing of aircraft, including helicopters.

“It is in discussions with global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for a tie up to produce equipment in an array of expanses," the company said in a statement.

The main objective behind this move is to play an active role in making India a global hub in defence engineering, manufacturing and exports, it said.

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