Odisha already has in place an ecosystem to facilitate the growth of aerospace and defence sectors in the state. The state has one of the busiest integrated missile test ranges in the world in Balasore district on Abdul Kalam Island, which is a testing facility for major missiles in India.
Odisha also has a premier test laboratory set up by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The essential raw materials for manufacturing of aerospace and defence components viz. iron, steel, ferro-alloys and aluminium production which are produced in significant capacities in the state.
The state has attracted an investment in defence from Mumbai-based Sure Safety Solutions Ltd. A unit for manufacturing aerial targets has come up on five acres of land at the Tata Steel- anchored industrial park in Gopalpur in south Odisha. The unit has been set up in technical collaboration with the UK-based Meggit Defence at a cost of Rs 500 million.
Odisha has identified metal downstream and ancillary products as one of its focus sectors. The metal casting and forging industry provides key components to the aerospace and defence sectors. With the government focusing on these two sectors, the sourcing of some of its major components might be easy.
A study report by Asian Development Bank (ADB) believes Odisha has the means to grow into a major hub for defence manufacturing. “With the presence of iron, steel, and aluminium industries that can act as suppliers to the aerospace and defense sector, a huge workforce, low costs of doing business, government policies and incentives to draw in investments, and upcoming industries such as casting, forging, and ancillaries, which may also act as key suppliers of components to the aerospace and defense sector, there are good prospects for the growth of aerospace and defense manufacturing in the state”, the report says.
Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra have already formulated policies for aerospace and defence sectors.