Chief Minister K Palaniswami today urged the Centre to consider setting up manufacturing and maintenance facilities for aircraft and helicopters in Tamil Nadu.
Referring to the recent remarks made by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Coimbatore appealing micro, small and medium enterprises to take up projects for the armed forces, Palaniswami said: "The state government will readily support such moves".
"I request the defence minister to consider establishing a manufacturing facility by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd) for light combact aircrafts and helicopters in Tamil Nadu in any suitable location", he said at the Defence Industry Development Meet inaugurated by Sitharaman in Chennai today.
The chief minister suggested that Salem district may be considered for setting up the unit as it was centrally located and a "large land bank" was available there.
Palaniswami also urged Sitharaman to consider setting up a military MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) base in Sulur Air Force Station in Coimbatore.
Stating that there were more than 120 aerospace components manufacturing companies and more than 700 suppliers operating in Tamil Nadu, he said the state government was in the process of coming out with an "exclusive aerospace and defence policy".
The policy would come with an objective of achieving 30 per cent share of the aerospace sector in India and creating employment opportunities for around 1 lakh people in the state, he said.
He said the setting up of an aerospace park at Sriperumbudur near Chennai was one such initiative by the government.
The park was being set up over a 250-acre land and could be expanded to 500 acres in the second phase, he said.
"This park will house at least 50 aerospace or defence companies forming a strong base for supporting large OEMs original equipment manufacturers)," he said.
Noting that the area of aircraft MRO activities were important, he said the government was focusing on establishing an "MRO complex" in Chennai.
"We welcome and encourage MRO operators to set up their shop in any part of Tamil Nadu," he said.
On the proposed Advanced Computing and Design Engineering Centre coming up at an estimated cost of Rs 180 crore in Sriperumbudur, he said the government was also setting up a multi-floor manufacturing complex at the Chennai Aerospace and Defence Park.
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