HAL helicopter
Narendra Modi unveils plaque for foundation stone for new helicopter manufacturing unit in Tumkur, Karnataka. Picture: HAL's Rudraen.wikipedia.org

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday unveiled a plaque for foundation stone of a new helicopter manufacturing unit of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited  (HAL) in the Tumakuru district of Karnataka.

"The Armed forces are second to none. Now the time has come to ensure that the weapons and equipment the Indian armed forces carry and use are also the best in the world. For this, India needs to end dependence on imported weaponry, which is expensive and not the latest technology," said the prime minister.

The Union government will stress on indigenous manufacturing of defence equipment. According to the prime minister, the manufacturing unit in Tumakuru would make the whole world take notice.

Recalling BR Ambedkar's vision for industrialisation in India, Modi said the manufacturing unit in Tumakuru was a step closer to fulfilling the vision of the architect of the Indian Constitution.

"The helicopters manufactured in Tumakuru will serve soldiers stationed in remote locations. The first helicopter built at the unit will take flight by 2018. Almost 4,000 families will directly or indirectly get livelihood due to this factory," the prime minister said, according to an official statement released by the Prime Minister's Office.

On a different note, Modi also recalling former prime minister's Lal Bahadur Shastri's "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan" slogan, and said India was self-reliant in foodgrain due to the progress made in the Agriculture sector over the past 50 years.

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, Chief Minister Siddaramiah, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Union Minister for Karnataka state GM Siddeshwara were also present at the occasion.