Bengaluru, Dec 14: Defence items can be "big item of exports" if we put quick clearance procedures in place and develop products required by many across the globe who cannot afford the top most available equipment, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said today. "....possibly in the earlier years the space occupied by the aeronautical requirement of the country was very small.
Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) was being developed for 32 years. Trainer aircraft was being developed for so many years, and I'm pleased to see the progress on the first stage trainer where I congratulate HAL that they are almost maintaining the schedules of commitment made to me.
"I'm saying 'almost' because couple of weeks delay can be understood, but otherwise I think they are doing quite well on the schedule of the trainer aircraft which they are developing," Parrikar said.
Indian Air force has already told them about the initial order of 72, but if they do it properly "may be our number will increase and we can export also," he said.
The Defence Minister was speaking at an event organised for the inaugural run of the core 25kN (kilo newton) indigenous Aero Engine, also known as the Hindustan Turbo Fan Engine (HTFE-25).
Stating that overall exports of the country this year has grown about six times, he noted, "Defence equipment can be a big item of export if we take proper care and if we clear the procedures very fast and develop products which are required by many across the globe who cannot afford the top most equipment available."
Parrikar, who also launched the design and development project of Hindustan Turbo Shaft Engine (HTSE-1200), that can be used for helicopters of 3.5 tonne class in single engine configuration, said, "Under Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) programme, we have already discussed and are coming to the final stage of finalizing a jet engine development of a higher class."
"If these few things get going, India in next five to ten years, can be one of the global hubs for aeronautic development, wherein Bengaluru is one of the most important destinations....," he said.
Clearing apprehension that he has plans to shift the helicopter unit to Goa, Parrikar said the helicopter unit is coming within 60 km of Bengaluru.
"We are waiting for the schedule of the Prime Minister to lay the foundation stone," he said.