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SOURCE: THE HINDU

The country’s first indigenous anti-tank missile ‘Asibal’ conceptualised, designed and manufactured in the private sector is going to be manufactured at the city-based VEM Technologies upcoming integrated defence systems facility at National Investment Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) at Zaheerabad in Sangareddy district, about 120 km from the capital.

“It has been under development for the past few years in association with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and public sector Munitions India Ltd. supplying the warhead, it is undergoing tests at different places. Once final approvals are in place, we can go for production. We have the licence to develop 10,000 tactile missiles a year,” said founder, chairman and managing director V. Venkat Raju, in an exclusive interaction.

“It is a dream come true for me to establish an integrated defence systems manufacturing facility within nine months of having a pact with the Telangana government. It could be the among the biggest in the private sector and if everything falls in place, we could have 1 million sq.ft work space ready by 2024-25 to begin operations,” he said.

VEM Tech is part of the Centre’s ‘Make in India’ scheme and is into “every vertical” like electronics, sensors, servo systems, rocket systems, onboard computers, three types of infra red, laser and RF seekers, missile systems, etc., with its first facility functioning at Shamshabad.

The 56-year-old entrepreneur said it is proposed to have 1,000-foot long hangar facility to develop the main fuselage for the Light Combat Aircraft and also develop the airframe for the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft.

A joint venture is proposed to be taken up with a US-based firm for making long range sniper rifles and a drone system with another foreign firm. “By 2029, our firm intends to develop some level of integrating a fighter aircraft. We have orders worth up to ?1,000 crore,” disclosed Mr. Raju.

The firm eventually plans to have 20 million sq.ft built up space with 40 km of internal roads and green cover with 10,000 saplings across the 511-acre space. “We will not have any township as it is a defence set-up,” he explained.

“All this is the result of sacrifices by my family. It is not easy to be in defence field as we have to have knowledge, technology and compete with the best in the world. We have invested every penny into this company,” smiles the soft spoken Mr. Raju, who started as an trainee in a Patancheru unit in the 80s.