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The state government of Uttar Pradesh (UP) has taken a significant step towards becoming a major player in India’s defense manufacturing sector. They have signed over 150 defense deals worth a staggering Rs 25,000 crore ($3.1 billion USD). This ambitious move aligns with India’s growing focus on self-reliance in defense production and boosting its defense exports.

This initiative comes at a perfect time. India’s annual defense production recently reached a record high of Rs 1.27 trillion (US$15.8 billion) in 2023-24, marking a significant 16.7% increase from the previous year. The Uttar Pradesh government aims to capitalize on this momentum and position itself as a critical hub in this growing industry.

The 150+ deals involve 42 companies that plan to invest nearly Rs 8,000 crore (US$1 billion USD) in their respective projects within the state. This substantial investment not only strengthens UP’s manufacturing base but also creates a valuable ecosystem for defense production.

The state government’s vision, “Make in UP,” seeks to leverage its large pool of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to propel defense manufacturing. By integrating these MSMEs into the larger defense supply chain, UP aims to not only cater to domestic needs but also create a robust export industry.

UP is already making strides in defense production. The state houses the Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited joint venture, responsible for assembling the Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles for the Indian Army. This venture has already delivered 35,000 rifles and has plans to manufacture nearly 600,000 over the next decade. Additionally, the BrahMos joint venture, known for developing supersonic missiles, has a presence in UP.