In a bid to strengthen its aerospace and defence sector, the Tamil Nadu government is laying the foundations to draw investors by cultivating a conducive industrial ecosystem, said a senior government official.
Addressing an audience in New Delhi, Wg Cdr P Madhusoodhanan, Vice President (Aerospace & Defence) of Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Limited, charted the state's industrial trajectory, detailing some of the measures initiated by the state government to attract companies from the aerospace, aviation, and defence sectors.
“We have marked our presence in nearly every domain… A notably astonishing sector is Titan Industries, where we stand as the single largest shareholder, surpassing even Tata,” expressed Madhusoodhanan, highlighting the state government's discreet investment strategy that allows partners to take the lead while offering supportive roles from the state.
He aligned the state's vision with the Defence Industrial Corridor initiative, shedding light on various sub-sectors to spur growth within Tamil Nadu. “Today, I'd like to shed light on three of these sub-sectors…technology for rockets and ammunition, sensors, communication, and electronic warfare,” Madhusoodhanan underscored, emphasising their critical relevance to the current industrial landscape in the region.
He also elaborated on Tamil Nadu's industrial prowess as an appealing proposition for the aerospace and defence sectors. “Tamil Nadu is the foremost manufacturer of automotive components in the country…and hosts the highest number of R&D establishments in the country,” he conveyed, indicating a robust foundation for supporting the Defence and Space sectors.
Explaining a multi-faceted strategy aimed at stimulating industrial growth, he noted “Our intention is to shoulder the bureaucratic burdens… Talent development is another pivotal aspect of our strategy to drive success in any sector, particularly the Defense and Space sectors.”
Discussing the conducive policy framework, he mentioned that Tamil Nadu's industrial policy, last updated in 2021, shines a spotlight on both established and sunrise sectors. “Aerospace and Defense are among the spotlighted sectors…willing to invest up to a 49% stake in companies keen to establish themselves in Tamil Nadu, particularly in the space sector,” he said, emphasising the state's readiness to share risks and strive towards collective success with these companies.
Delving further into the forthcoming Tamil Nadu Space Industrial Policy, Madhusoodhanan expressed optimism for Tamil Nadu to lead with a focused policy. He also unveiled collaborative ventures like the common foundry in Coimbatore in alliance with Tata Technologies and initiatives with the Forge Accelerator facility in Chennai aimed at rapid sectoral transformation.
“To address the identified challenge of lack of design capabilities, we partnered with global leaders Dassault Systems, Siemens, and GE Aviation to establish Centres of Excellence,” he said, emphasising the collaborative ethos to dismantle significant entry barriers for both private and government industries.
He further discussed the introduction of specialised aerospace and defence industrial parks, sharing, “In a significant move, the Air Force has given in-principle approval to use their runway, which could potentially facilitate the landing of reusable spacecraft.”
Towards the southern tip, the blueprint for an expansive industrial park spanning over 3500 acres is unfolding to cater to the industry. Madhusoodhanan shared the overarching vision of establishing common facilities to enable industries to concentrate on core operations while the state orchestrates supplementary tasks, positioning Tamil Nadu as a linchpin in the industry.
He also took a moment to reflect on the long-term implications of these strategies, articulating the potential ripple effects on employment, technology advancement, and regional economic stability. Furthermore, he emphasised the reciprocal growth trajectory envisioned where both the state and the industries evolve and thrive.
Madhusoodhanan stressed that through a blend of policy revamp, strategic collaborations, and a clear vision, Tamil Nadu is not merely aiming to carve a niche in the aerospace and defence sector but is setting the stage for a paradigm shift that could potentially resonate through the industrial corridors of India.