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Over 200 partnerships finalised at defence expo on Friday


LUCKNOW: Over 200 partnerships and technology transfer initiatives involving state-run defence majors, private firms and foreign arms manufacturers were sealed on Friday at the defence expo here, providing for joint development of military hardware and weapons systems.
The pacts were inked at the on-going defence expo, two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi set a target of $5 billion in defence exports in the next five years and make India self-reliant in military manufacturing.
Twenty-three of the total MoUs were signed by the Uttar Pradesh government.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath said the MoUs envisage Rs 50,000 crore of investment in the defence corridor in the state and generate 3 lakh job opportunities.
The 11th edition of the DefExpo, India’s biennial exhibition of military platforms and weapons, is being attended by over 1,000 defence companies and delegates from 40 countries.
Another major announcement was the issuance of the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) certificate to state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the production of Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
The LUH is designed and developed as a replacement for the Cheetah and the Chetak helicopters being operated by the Indian armed forces.
Officials said signing of such a large number of MoUs made the current edition of the DefEXpo the most successful one.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh described the signing of MoUs as a step in the direction to achieve the Prime Minister’s defence exports target in the next five years.
“The defence PSUs and the Indian defence private industry were better placed today to lead India as the emerging research and development hub of the world leveraging the sharp minds of Indian youth,” he said.
Defence secretary Ajay Kumar said DefExpo 2020 would be remembered for many firsts, including for the signing of the largest number of MoUs.
Twenty-three MoUs were signed between the UP government and the private companies.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chairman Sateesh Reddy said technology transfer was being made available at no cost to companies in order to boost the defence ecosystem in the country.
The five-day-long DefExpo was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 5.

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