New Delhi: India's premier defence research institute DRDO has identified 108 weapons systems and subsystems like navigation radars, tank transporters and missile canisters for the domestic industry to design, develop and manufacture. The list of the items was handed over to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh by a high-level delegation from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the defence ministry said. It said the DRDO will also provide support to industries for design, development and testing of these systems on a requirement basis, adding the initiative is in sync with the government's focus on achieving self-reliance in the defence sector. The DRDO has set a target of next year for developing the systems and subsystems "All the requirements of these systems by R and D establishments, armed forces, and other security agencies can be met through development contracts or production orders on suitable Indian industry. This will allow DRDO to focus on the design and development of critical and advanced technologies and systems," the ministry said in a statement. Two weeks back, the defence minister announced a ban on import of 101 military systems and weapons like transport aircraft, light combat helicopters, conventional submarines and cruise missiles in a staggered manner by 2024 to promote India's domestic defence industry. Following the announcement, the defence ministry has initiated a series of measures to promote the domestic defence industry. The ministry has set a goal of a turnover of USD 25 billion (Rs 1.75 lakh crore) in defence manufacturing in the next five years that included an export target of USD 5 billion (Rs 35,000 crore) worth of military hardware. "Responding to the clarion call given by the Prime Minister for “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India), the DRDO has taken several initiatives to strengthen the indigenous defence ecosystem," the ministry said. It said the present industry base for DRDO consists of 1800 MSMEs along with defence public sector undertakings, Ordnance Factories and large scale industries. "DRDO has already taken major initiatives through various policies to involve Indian industry as development cum production partners (DcPP), offering its technology to industry at nominal cost and providing free access to its patents," the ministry said. "This initiative will support the fast-growing Indian defence industrial ecosystem and will help the industry to contribute towards 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' in a big way," it added. The list of items identified by the DRDO for domestic production included mini and micro UAVs, mountain footbridge, modular bridge, mines laying and marking equipment, armoured engineering reconnaissance vehicle and anti-terrorist vehicle (ATV). It also comprised tank transporter, missile canisters, missile storage container, marine rocket launcher, satellite navigation receivers, navigation radars, high nitrogen steel among others. The timeline for developing some of the systems and subsystems has been mentioned as 2020.
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