Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said more than 80 countries will take part in a defence exhibition to be held in Chennai in the month of April this year.
At the inaugural session of the Defence Industry Development Meet here, the minister said, “It is the first time that the defence expo is going to be held in Chennai. The Tamil Nadu government has allocated land on the East Coast Road at Thiruvidanthai near Mamallapuram.”
“Till 2016, all defence expos had been held only in New Delhi. When Manohar Parikkar was defence minister, it was held in Goa (in 2017). Now, after I took charge as defence minister, the expo will be held here,” she said.
Tamil Nadu has several defence production plants, including a tank manufacturing unit in Avadi and ordnance factories in Avadi and Tiruchi. Coupled with L&T Katupalli Shipyard at Ennore, which manufactures ships for the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard, the State has a robust defence production ecosystem.
Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday said Tamil Nadu has been maintaining its leadership position in manufacturing sectors like automobiles, textiles, leather, electronic hardware, IT, etc.
“Tamil Nadu having strong automobile capabilities, the next logical step for our auto sector is to progress towards aerospace and defence sectors,” he said, adding that his government is in the process of coming out with an exclusive Aerospace and Defence policy with an objective of achieving 30 per cent share of the sector in India and creating high-end employment opportunities for around one lakh persons in Tamil Nadu.