In order to attract fresh investment, Karnataka is expected to come up with a new aerospace and defence policy soon. The state has also apparently pitched in to become a defence and technology hub in the country.
Many global players have also confirmed their presence in the aerospace park and aerospace SEZ (Special Economic Zone) set up by KIADB (Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board) on the outskirts of Bengaluru near Devanahalli. As per latest figures by the Karnataka Udyog Mitra, more than 140 aerospace and defence projects have been confirmed at the aerospace park and the aerospace SEZ in Bengaluru. It has already attracted an investment of more than Rs 13, 000 crores and has projected an employment of more than 108,000 people.
“We are going to come up with a new aerospace and defence policy in the state in the next one or two months time frame wherein we will announce the incentives we are offering to the aerospace companies. The response has been good and we have players such as Boeing and Adani Aerospace along with some of the top aerospace companies that have shown interest in the aerospace park and the aerospace SEZ,” Gunjan Krishna. Commissioner, Department of Industries and Commerce, Government of Karnataka told THE WEEK.
Karnataka is also aiming at setting up a defence technology hub in the state to promote aerospace and manufacturing. Jagadish Shettar, the state's industries minister has written to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in this regard. As per market reports, over 65 per cent of India's aerospace related exports are from Karnataka. Some of the prominent players that have already started functioning in the aerospace park and the aerospace SEZ in Bengaluru include Collins Aerospace that has around 2,800 employees, Centum, Tyco Electronics, Amada, etc.
“With the next generation of aircraft manufacturing based on industry 4.0, which includes digitalization of the parts conditions, the automation of the manufacturing as well as the assembly process will be totally digitized, which begins from the parts specifications, drawings, engineering, manufacturing, qualification, serial production, quality assurance, transportation up to the assembly of the aircraft. There will be a high demand to know at any time where the parts are and what the conditions of the parts are, and will lead to a virtual assembly process to pair the right parts regarding the best fit of deviations. The whole data and processes are stored in a database and will be sent to the assembly lines. With its facilities, the aerospace park will boost the manufacturing to higher flexibility like different versions, aircraft types and customers’ requirements. It will lower the costs, shorten the delivery times etc,” explained Girish Linganna, Director of ADD Engineering Components India Limited, a subsidiary of ADD Engineering GmbH Germany,
This expert further adds that the aerospace sector can usher in public private partnership in making both defence as well as civil aircrafts, components and even research collaborations. “The aerospace park in Bengaluru is also focusing on opportunities in global maintenance, repair and overhauling of aircrafts, which has been the domain of HAL now, but is facing challenges from companies of Southeast Asian countries, particularly Singapore,” added Linganna.