Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday formally handed over two types of indigenously built high-power multi-fuel engines to the Army. The engines, manufactured by engine factory, Avadi — a unit of Ordnance Factory Board, Department of Defence Production — were fully indigenised for the first time under the Centre’s ‘Make in India’ programme.

“Earlier, we were importing some of the components for defence. Now, with these two engines produced by you, you have proved that the Army does not look outside (other countries) than to look at you,” she said at a function in the factory, 35 km from Chennai.

The first engine of 1000 HP engine — V92S2 engine — powers T-90 Bhisma Tank, the second engine — V-46-6 engine — powers the T-72 Ajeya Tank and its variants are manufactured with ‘100% Made in India’ parts, officials said. Earlier,local content of the two engines was up to 73%, they said.

Sitharaman formally handed over the documents of the two types of engines to vice chief of army staff Devaraj Anbu. She said that engine factory general manager Anil Kumar told her the factory would be producing fully indigenised engines for the BMP-1 tank as well. “You have made us proud,” she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been encouraging the Make in India programme since there was a thought that products engaged in country’s security need to be locally sourced, she said.

Though these engines were manufactured based on Russian design, India was depending on Moscow for its supply of critical assemblies such as turbocharger, supercharger, fuel injection pumps, defence (production) secretary Ajay Kumar said.

“By localising the components for engine manufacturing, the country can save around Rs 800 crore for the next 10 years,” he said.

Sitharaman appealed to employees to produce products that are ‘world class’ so that such defence public sector undertakings need not await orders from the government, but can attract good business in domestic and overseas.

The indigenisation effort also exhibits the self-reliance of the Ordnance Factory Board in manufacturing these engines in India without any import support, officials said. The engine factory has manufactured more than 12,000 engines since its inception in 1987.

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