MoD Signs MoU to Establish Cutting-Edge Testing Facilities in Tamil Nadu

OV Desk

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish three advanced testing facilities in Chennai under the Tamil Nadu Defence Industrial Corridor. These facilities will focus on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), Electronic Warfare (EW), and Electro Optics (EO).

The MoU was signed under the Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS) and exchanged between senior officials of MoD and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Limited in the presence of Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane in New Delhi. This initiative is part of the DTIS, which was launched by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh in May 2020 with an outlay of Rs 400 crore. The scheme aims to set up state-of-the-art testing facilities in collaboration with private industry and government bodies, promoting indigenous defence production, reducing imports, and enhancing self-reliance.

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The DTIS provides up to 75% government funding as ‘Grant-in-Aid’, with the remaining 25% funded by Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) consisting of Indian private entities and State/Central Governments. For the UAS testing facility, Keltron, a government of Kerala undertaking, is the lead SPV member, with private sector companies also part of the consortium. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and India Optel Limited (IOL) are the lead SPV members for the EW and EO testing facilities, respectively.

These facilities, upon completion, will provide advanced testing equipment and services to both government and private industry, thus boosting ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence.