HYDERABAD:India’s missile power is set to get a boost with a surface-to-air missile unit set to come up at a cost of Rs 30,000 crore at Ibrahimpatnam in Andhra Pradesh’s Rangareddy district. The foundation stone for the project by Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) was laid by chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Sunday.
The infrastructure for the project, spread over 630 acres, will be ready in three years’ time. Once ready, an estimated 6,000 missiles are expected to be produced at the unit. Moreover, missile production will go up as project capacity is expanded to keep up with the demand for missiles.
M Pallam Raju, the union minister of state for defence, said that the project cost would be allocated in the 12th and 13th Plans.
Project developer BDL’s turnover would go from Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 5,000 crore once production begins at the surface-to-air missile defence project unit at Ibrahimpatnam.
The new unit will create 1,000 officer-level jobs. Pallam Raju said manpower from educational institutions should be churned out as per industry requirements to enable the local population to benefit from the project and find employment at the unit.
Training in the necessary skills should be offered at the technological institutions for the local populace to be able to compete at the national level for the jobs that are created, he said, adding the Centre would soon come out with a policy that facilitates better private sector participation in the defence sector.
Kiran Kumar said the state government was working on allocating 6,000 to 7,000 acres of land for various defence projects including three each by BDL and BEL, two for ECIL and one for Midhani. These projects would together generate employment for 10,000 people, the CM said.
The CM said that as part of the state government’s Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu programme, skills sets of students were being developed for employment in various sectors. The CM informed that in its first four months, one lakh placements had been made through the programme.
He said that the plan was to create five lakh jobs in various sectors, public and private, for the youth. The CM spoke about a programme being drawn up wherein the youth would also be trained to compete for jobs in the defence sector and the Railways.
Maj Gen Ravi Khetarpal (rtd), chairman and managing director of BDL, said the Ibrahimpatnam unit would be the company’s fourth manufacturing unit in Andhra and the fifth in the country. He said the Ibrahimpatnam project would kick off with an initial investment of Rs 2,500 crore.