Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman handed over two fully indigenous battle tank engines produced by the Engine Factory Avadi (EFA), a unit of Ordnance Factory Board, to Vice-Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Devraj Anbu on Saturday.

The engines, V-46-6 and V92S2, power the T-72 Ajeya and the T-90 Bhishma tanks.

She said the “indigenisation of two of the three types of tanks used by the Army, had made the Army battle-ready”. The effort has resulted in savings for the exchequer to the tune of Rs. 33 lakh for the T-90 engine and Rs. 9.75 lakh for the T-72 engine.

Speaking on the importance of improving the manufacturing sector in the country, Ms. Sitharaman said: “We have the capability and talent to produce our own products, but we continue to import. This is why Prime Minister Modi started ‘Make In India’.”

Ms. Sitharaman also underlined the importance of manufacturing defence products used by the armed forces. “If we keep importing parts for defence equipment, it might end up being a stumbling block to India’s security. The equipment and parts may not be available when necessary, or servicing could become difficult. The Engine Factory Avadi has shown that it is possible to manufacture engines and other equipment all by ourselves,” she said.

“If we reach a stage where we can produce quality complex technological systems in India, the businesses will come to us automatically,” she said. So far, India has been depending on the Russian Federation for certain critical assemblies like the turbocharger, supercharger, fuel injection pumps, etc. “Why should we go outside if we can buy quality products here in India?”

Anil Kumar, GM, EFA, promised the Defence Minister that the UTD-20 engine would also be indigenised by the end of this fiscal year.

The EFA has manufactured more than 12,000 engines since its inception in 1987 for the Indian Army.

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