Yogi opens S Asia’s largest ammunition facility in Kanpur - Hindustan Times
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Yogi opens S Asia’s largest ammunition facility in Kanpur

Feb 27, 2024 07:58 AM IST

The chief minister highlighted the transformation of the state from the echoes of gunfire before 2017 to its crucial role in bolstering defence manufacturing for self-reliance.

KANPUR: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated the sprawling ammunition manufacturing complex of the Adani Group, nestled within the Kanpur node of the UP defence corridor, on Monday.

CM Yogi Adityanath inaugurating the Adani’s ammunition facility in Kanpur on Monday (HT Photo)
CM Yogi Adityanath inaugurating the Adani’s ammunition facility in Kanpur on Monday (HT Photo)

The complex, spreading across 500 acres in Kanpur’s Saadh area, is billed by the Adani group as South Asia’s largest ammunition and missile facility. It will produce ammunitions, artillery shells, and short-range missiles. It began production within 18 months of the land being allocated.

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The chief minister highlighted the transformation of the state from the echoes of gunfire before 2017 to its crucial role in bolstering defence manufacturing for self-reliance.

The CM reminisced about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of two defence corridors in UP and Tamil Nadu, aiming to attain self-reliance in defence needs. “As of today, the state has a land bank of 5,000 acres, which is being expanded,” he said.

He said this facility is a testimony to the state’s march towards becoming an industrial powerhouse in line with the PM’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat. Work is underway in all six nodes of the defence corridor in the state.

“BrahMos in Lucknow, Bharat Dynamics Limited in Jhansi, Anchor Research Lab in Aligarh, Anant Technologies, and Genser Aerospace in Kanpur, apart from Adani, are all working with heavy investments being made, while premier institutes like IIT Kanpur and IIT BHU have been designated as Centers for Excellence to bolster defence manufacturing,” he said.

The CM further elaborated on the government’s vision to nurture a conducive environment for defence and aerospace startups, aiming not only for self-reliance in India’s defence sector but also to cater to global demands.

Underlining UP’s transition from a development laggard to a trendsetter, he said a new industrial city had been envisioned in Jhansi in the Bundelkhand area. “Forty-six years ago, Noida was created on 33,000 acres of land; this game-changing city in Jhansi will begin with 37,000 acres of land,” he said, adding it would be the country’s premier industrial hub, offering skilled employment opportunities to the region’s youth.

In view of this transformation, he suggested establishing a skill development centre in Kanpur with the help of IIT Kanpur and Harcourt Butler Technological University (HBTU) to help youths in securing suitable employment opportunities.

General Manoj Pandey, the Chief of Army Staff, who was also present at the inauguration event, said, “In UP before 2017, ‘tamanche’—illegal guns—were brandished openly. Now, the same hands have tablets and ‘tamanchas’ have been replaced with technology.”

Pandey spoke about the strategic prudence of maintaining operational readiness, especially in light of recent geo-political events. While laying stress on alleviating the dependence on imports, he said it was imperative for the country to be self-reliant in defence needs.

He further said ammunition manufacturing was a high-end job and the investments made by the Adani group would bring in others to indigenise critical technologies. He said the Indian defence industry would also benefit through the 16000 crore market available to them.

Karan Adani, CEO of Adani ports and SEZ, said the annual production capacity was 150 million rounds of small calibre weapons. The complex would initially focus on manufacturing rifles, light machine guns, AK-47s, and carbines, with plans to diversify into artillery guns, explosives, and various other defence-related products.

“The project, starting at 1500 crores, is expected to expand to 3000 crore over the next five years, directly employing 4000 people, he said, adding that the company would soon sign an MoU with IIT Kanpur’s aerospace department.”

Meanwhile, CEO of Adani Defence and Aerospace Ashish Rajvanshi said the facility would have a five times multiplier effect on MSMEs and the local ecosystem. The complex had been dedicated to the brave warriors of the Balakot strike. “The company, which will formally start production from March 1, would manufacture 40 types of ammunition and rockets in partnership with the Bulgarian firm Aramco JSCO. In the later phases, it would produce a variety of firearms in partnership with an Israeli firm as well,” he said.

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