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Tamil Nadu firms to sign MoUs with state defence department for D-Corridor.

CHENNAI: Several Tamil Nadu-based companies, including MSMEs and big firms that either manufacture defence equipment parts or are ready to begin production, are set to sign MoUs with the state defence purchase department in Trichy on January 20.

New defence products and a Coimbatore defence innovation hub will be inaugurated at the function where defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and state industries minister M C Sampath among others will participate.

“We chose Trichy as Chennai, Hosur and Coimbatore are already part of the defence corridor and are known for manufacturing components for several public sector companies. But in Trichy as well as in other districts down south, there are companies which also manufacture parts for defence machines. There are new companies which have shown interest in manufacturing parts for firearms in Trichy and nearby districts,” defence purchase department secretary Ajay Kumar told TOI.

Asked about the type of companies expected to sign MoUs, he said it would be a combination of those manufacturing main parts and those building small parts for defence equipment. “New products are to be launched by a few companies. The Coimbatore innovation centre will also be formally launched,” said Kumar.

For the innovation centre, the defence ministry last year released 20 crore as initial funding to the Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (Codissia) which will identify small and micro units as well as startups ready to manufacture components for defence equipment.

The plan to convert Nanguneri SEZ into a defence manufacturing corridor has run into a hurdle. “We approached the state government on this issue and were told that the land within the SEZ is owned by private companies and unless we are able woo all these companies it will not be possible to set up defence companies inside the SEZ. We are hopeful that in the near future, the SEZ will be manufacturing defence components,” minister of state finance Pon Radhakrishnan told TOI over phone from Kanyakumari district.

“Tamil Nadu is one of the states fit to manufacture defence equipment as already there are companies in Chennai, Aravankadu, Kalpakkam, Trichy, Coimbatore and Mahendragiri supplying parts for aircraft, ships and tanks,” said Radhakrishnan.


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