Defence forces have placed orders to buy drones worth over Rs 500 crore: PM

New Delhi: Defence forces have placed orders worth over Rs 500 crore to buy drones from local companies, giving a major push to indigenous drone technology, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday.
With government’s policy promoting drones in the country, foreign and domestic investors have invested in many drone start-ups. Many companies are also setting up manufacturing units, he said.
“The Army, Navy and Air Force have also placed orders worth more than Rs 500 crores with the Indian drone companies. And this is just the beginning. We must not stop here. We have to become a leading country in drone technology,” the Prime Minister said during his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
The government last month approved the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for drones and drone components.
As per government estimate, the drones and drone components manufacturing industry may see an investment of over Rs 5,000 crore over the next three years. The annual sales turnover of the drone manufacturing industry is expected to grow from Rs 60 crore in 2020-21 to over Rs 900 crore in FY 2023-24.
The sector could generate as many 10,000 direct jobs over the next three years given the use of drones across various sectors such as agriculture, mining, infrastructure, surveillance, emergency response, transportation, geo-spatial mapping, defence and law enforcement.
Modi said that the government is taking all possible steps to help the industry leapfrog.
“I will also urge the youth of the country to certainly think about taking advantage of the opportunities created after the drone policy and come forward,” he said.