BrahMos chief asks for 200 acres of land in Lucknow: Firms being allotted land on the strength of promises to set up factories - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Wednesday 25 August 2021

BrahMos chief asks for 200 acres of land in Lucknow: Firms being allotted land on the strength of promises to set up factories

File photo of a BrahMos cruise missile being launched from INS Chennai

By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 26th Aug 21

For over two decades, the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile has been portrayed as a triumph of Indo-Russian co-development and co-manufacture. Even the missile’s name – BrahMos – is derived from combining the names of a major river from each country: India’s Brahmaputra and Russia’s Moskva.


Numerous analysts have expressed scepticism that India has played a role in designing the BrahMos. They say the missile is based entirely on Russian technology, while India merely manufactures the missile from blueprints provided by Russia.


On Wednesday, the UP government, which is trying to become a defence manufacturing hub, issued a statement that said the BrahMos missile “is based on the technology of Russia's P-800 Oniks cruise missile.”


Later in the statement, the UP government changed tack, stating: “The missile has been designed, developed and produced by BrahMos Aerospace -- a joint venture of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and of NPO Mashinostroyeniya (NPOM).”


This was in the context of a request from BrahMos Aerospace chief, Sudhir Misra, to the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) and to the UP government seeking 200 acres of land for a facility to build the BrahMos. A delegation from BrahMos Aerospace also met UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday.


The current version of the BrahMos cruise missile is assembled at a facility in Hyderabad. But UPEIDA is aiming to manufacture the new, improved BrahMos cruise missile.


“UP may soon start manufacturing the Next-Gen state-of-the-art BrahMos missile,” stated a UP government release on Wednesday. More than 100 BrahMos missiles are planned to be built in the next three years.

“About 500 engineers and technical people will get direct employment in the BrahMos Production Centre which will be built by investing Rs 300 crores on the land to be allotted for making BrahMos missiles at Lucknow node,” stated the release.

“Apart from this, about 5,000 people will get indirect employment and 10,000 people will get work through the production centre. The work of setting up the BrahMos production centre is likely to start soon,” said the UP government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the creation of two “Defence Manufacturing Corridors,” one each in UP and Tamil Nadu, during DefExpo 2018 in Chennai.

This project got a substantial boost during the DefExpo 2020, which was held in Lucknow. Since then, the MoD has announced that numerous defence manufacturers had signed MoUs worth Rs 50,000 crores for investment in the corridor. Most of these MoU’s have been signed for the defence corridor being built around Aligarh.


Defence manufacturers, including several who are still to manufacture any defence items, have been attracted to these industrial zones by the promise of allocation of real estate.


“11 companies in the Lucknow node, six in the Jhansi node, eight in Kanpur node have requested to provide land (sic) for setting up factories. Acting on the proposals received from various companies, UPEDIA has so far allotted 55.4 hectares of land in Aligarh node to 19 international companies,” announced the UP government on Wednesday.

“About four acres of land has been allotted to two companies in Kanpur node and 15 acres of land to one company in Jhansi. Whereas in Lucknow node, it has been agreed to give 200 acres of land to build Brahmos Production Centre,” said the UP government..

“In the last three years, over 65 big companies have requested the government to provide land in the Defence Industrial Corridor to set up their factories, of which around 19 big companies have been allotted 55.4 hectares of land by UPEIDA recently,” the UP government said.


Land in the UP corridor is being allocated to companies that have little, or no, profile in defence manufacturing, but are promising big investments.

In the Aligarh node, two of the 19 companies which have been allotted land are promising to invest Rs 581 crore to make drones. One of them, Anchor Research Lab LLP, which has undertaken to invest Rs 550 crore, has been allotted 10 hectares of land by UPEIDA. Another firm, Allan and Alvan, which has promised to invest Rs 30.75 crore, has been allotted eight acres of land.


Similarly, land has been allotted to other little-known firms that are jumping into defence manufacturing, on the strength of promised investment. These companies include Sadicate Innovation International, Jai Sai Anu Overseas, Milkor Defence Pvt Ltd, Tractrix Auto Dynamics, Nitya Creation India, PBM Insolation Pvt Ltd, Deep Explo Equipments Pvt Ltd, Veriwin Defence Pvt Ltd, Advance Fire and Safety, Crimson Energy Exports, P-2 Logitech and Cobra Industries.

“These 19 companies of Aligarh node will provide employment to thousands of people by investing Rs 1,245 crore. With these investments made in the Aligarh, Kanpur, Jhansi and Lucknow nodes in the Defence Corridor, the state will move rapidly towards becoming self-reliant in the field of defence product manufacturing,” said the UP government.

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