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    SIA-India pitches for equal opportunity for Space Sector in Defence Offset and PLI

    Published on September 18, 2021

    New Delhi : In a meeting with the Secretary [Defence] Dr. Ajay Kumar,SIA-India led by President Dr. Subba Rao Pavuluri,the association highlighted the  possibilities for the country’s Defence requirements with emergence of the commercial space sector and Space start-ups in India.  The nascent industry is on the verge of taking its rightful place among the large players internationally.

    The Joint Doctrine of the three services emphatically emphasizes the importance of satellite systems. The use of space assets for communications, reconnaissance, imagery and geolocation are integral to modern military requirements.

    Space tech is an irrefutable area which needs to be properly utilized. The Defence Secretary, Dr. Ajay Kumar observed “While other countries are looking at space for leisure, in India we are still far behind in our development of Space technologies and the opportunities thereof”

    The private sector is moving towards significant rationalization of cost of launch and is on the path toward a proliferated constellation of small satellites for navigation, sensing, Command, Control, Communications, Computers (C4) in space. The indigenous industrial capability developed by the private sector over the years working with ISRO can play a significant role in meeting the upstream and downstream space based requirements of the Defence industry.

    SIA-India also appreciated the initiatives of the Ministry of Defence in streamlining and promoting India industry through schemes like Buy (Indian-IDDM) and Buy and Make (Indian) categories of procurement and Defence Testing Infrastructure scheme (DTIS) for active participation towards the vision of Atmanirbharta in Defence production. This has led to Industry participation in projects like Mobile Integrated Network Terminal (MINT).

    Dr. Pavuluri, President SIA-India, said: “The game-changer for the defence and space sectors relates to the qualification of indigenous space capabilities towards discharge of offset obligations. Sourcing of space equipment and services- such as launch services of foreign satellites through PSLV/GSLV, sounding rockets, components, etc. from the Indian private industry should be made eligible to meet offset obligations.”

    Currently of the USD 12 Bn offset obligations, only USD 5 Bn has been discharged. Leveraging the synergies between defence and space industries could help foreign OEMs in discharging their obligations by opening up a new avenue for discharge.This could potentially open up the export market and help India meet the export target of USD 1 Tn by 2025.

    SIA-India has recommended

    1.     The use of existing satellite constellations capacity for immediate Defence needs, and

    2.     Introduce a PLI scheme for manufacturing in Space and Defence sectors