German military hardware major Rheinmetall to invest in UP Defence Corridor

According to the state government, Rheinmetall officials reaffirmed interest in the Defence Corridor
German military and security hardware/technology major Rheinmetall is looking to invest in the Uttar Pradesh Defence Corridor, for which memorandums of understanding (MoU) with 23 private companies entailing investment of Rs 50,000 crore have been signed so far.

Rheinmetall Group is Europe’s foremost supplier of defence and security ware, and is a partner of the armed forces of Germany and its NATO allies. It is gradually transforming into a global player with a series of acquisitions and setting up of foreign subsidiaries.

As part of the ‘Invest UP’ theme, UP investment promotion and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) minister Sidharth Nath Singh held a virtual conference last evening with Susanne Wiegand, CEO of Rheinmetall Electronics Division, and Fabian Ochsner, CEO, Rheinmetall Air Defence, in view of their proposed investment.

Singh assured the German Group that the Yogi Adityanath government would provide full support to potential investors in conducting business in the state, while highlighting the ‘abundant investment’ avenues in UP, availability of modern infrastructure, skilled manpower and incentives.

Last week, Indian Navy had also signed an MoU with UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) for setting up a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in the UP Defence Corridor to promote research and innovation in the defence sector.

Meanwhile, the state government agreed to share information on the investible locations through Google map, land bank details, infrastructure availability and expressways/airports along the UP Defence Corridor and the defence manufacturing policy incentives.

According to the state government, Rheinmetall officials reaffirmed interest in the Defence Corridor and said the company would consider the proposed sectors of investment discussed in the virtual conference.

UP additional chief secretary, MSME, Navneet Sehgal said the UP Defence Corridor spanned more than 5,000 hectares spread over six nodes. He mentioned the fast progress made in acquiring land for the project and the presence of a robust defence production ecosystem in UP with five ordnance factories and three Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) plants.

Since India has envisaged $5 billion worth of defence exports in the next 5 years, the Adityanath government is aiming to become a hub of military hardware and aviation manufacturing by promoting the Corridor to investors, including foreign majors.

Interestingly, the state had planned to host a Global Investors Summit in October-November 2020, for which roadshows in major foreign countries, including the US, the UK, Russia, UAE, Canada, France, the Netherlands etc were also proposed, before the global covid-19 lockdown put a spanner in the works.

The Defence Corridor is among the flagship projects of the Adityanath government apart from Purvanchal Expressway, Bundelkhand Expressway, Gorakhpur Link Expressway and Ganga Expressway.

On February 5, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated India’s largest ever Defence Expo 2020 in Lucknow and set the target of defence export worth $5 billion.

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