New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that the government plans to spend USD 130 billion (approx Rs 9.5 lakh crore) on defence modernisation in the next seven to eight years. 

Speaking at the Aero India 2021, Singh also said that the government's move to hike the FDI in defence sector to 74 per cent will attract more foreign investors. "The Government of India has enhanced FDI in Defence Sector up to 74 per cent through the Automatic Route and 100 per cent through the Government route, which would act as a catalyst for foreign players to invest in India," he said. 

Without naming China and Pakista, Singh sent a clear message to the two countries saying that the country was prepared to "counter and defeat any misadventure."

"We have long witnessed unfortunate attempts to employ force to change status quo along our unresolved borders. India is vigilant and prepared to counter and defeat any misadventure to defend our people and the territorial integrity at all costs," he said. 

"India also faces threats and challenges emanating from multiple fronts. India is a victim of state sponsored and state inflicted terrorism, which is now a global threat," Singh added.  

Meanwhile, the government formally sealed the Rs 48,000 crore deal to procure 83 Tejas light combat aircraft from state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

The contract was handed over by Director General (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence, V L Kantha Rao to Chairman and Managing Director of HAL, R Madhavan, at the inaugural ceremony of Aero India-2021, the country's premier defence and aerospace show, here, in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Tejas, manufactured by the HAL, is a single engine and highly agile multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft capable of operating in high-threat air environments.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month approved the deal for procurement of the 73 Tejas Mk-IA variant and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-I trainer aircraft from the HAL to boost IAF's combat prowess.

The country's premier aerospace and defence exhibition, Aero India 2021 took off on Wednesday amidst the COVID-19 pandemic with buzz around "AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan" and "Make in India" push.

With a combination of both physical and virtual exhibition, the 13th edition of the biennial international event at Air Force Station Yelahanka is the world's first hybrid aerospace show.

A negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test report (dated January 31, 9 am or later) is a must to attend the three-day event, where each day only 3,000 visitors will be allowed at the flight display venue in view of the pandemic.

As many as 601 exhibitors -- 523 Indian and 78 foreign --and 14 countries have confirmed participation, they said. Companies are showcasing their capabilities, latest technologies, solutions, products and services at the show. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will exhibit its latest defence technologies and demonstrate many systems.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta