In the recent past, India has swiftly paced its way to self-sufficiency in the field of defence know-how. India had been an importer of defence since early days and It used to struggle for its share of arms and ammunitions as it had to depend on other developed nations in order to get the necessary arms and weapons. The main intention of the nation’s leaders has since been to be self-reliant in the defence arena so that no unlikely situation occurs against India. Fortunately, India is now in a position to create and manufacture its own weapons. And gradually it is trying to make a footing in the list of ammunition exporters as well.
New policies for Indigenous Defence Production
The Government transformed many old and futile policies in order to reach a position of indigenous production and exports. The altered policies that brought in such a dramatic change in India’s position in the world defence market are given as under:
- Augmenting the native production
- Defence Production under Make in India
- Authorized fabrication of those equipments which can be acquired from outside India
- For those equipments which are not included above, yet are crucial for ensuring the nation’s safety, direct acquisition route is adhered to.
- 100% FDI in defence sector
These changes brought in the policies signify the privatisation (partial) of the defence production and procurement. This may be done through accrediting and meandering opening of the defence sector to overseas nations through FDI.
India’s main ambition at the moment has escalated to being one of the world’s largest arms exporters. For this, the Government is trying to heighten the arms exports to a level that is 20 times the current one, in the coming future. This move if executed well, can convert India’s position as one of the world’s largest importers into a foremost seller of defence equipment. The afore-given figures are assessed to be met by the next decade. Also, the export statistics are most likely to reach $3 billion by 2025. Involving private sector investment and technical proficiency are the key challenges facing this situation. Being self-reliant in the defence sphere will create numerous employment opportunities as well.
Defence Production under Make in India
The Government is also emphasising on bringing India’s defence sector under MAKE IN INDIA’s ambit. Recently, the novel Defence Procurement Procedure 2016 was made public at the Defence Expo. The DPP 2016 has been brought forward as a driving force to work in tangent with the MAKE IN INDIA program. DPP policy has been invented to invite the private sector in India’s defence establishment to play a huge role in it.
One of the key features of the new DPP policy is simplifying the process of acquisition of equipments and also to endorse original designs.
Main Defence exports from India
In order to counter China’s growing military fierceness, India is gearing up to sell supersonic BRAHMOS missile to Vietnam. This development took place between India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his Vietnamese counterpart General Ngo Xuan Lich only recently. Few other countries like Arabs are also interested in buying these.Indigenously developed fighter Jet Tejas is also in pipeline, as many countries have shown interest in buying it.
The major pieces that are intended to be exported are offshore patrol vessels, spare parts for radars, Cheetal helicopters, turbo chargers along-with batteries, electronic devices, light engineering mechanical parts and also some personal safety articles such as helmets, bullet-proof jackets and specific kind of clothing.
The majority of exports from India depart off into nations such as Afghanistan, Algeria, Belgium, Ecuador, Indonesia, Israel, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Sudan, Vietnam and the United Kingdom.
Majority of the exports from India to Afghanistan comprised of Cheetal Helicopters. Nepal’s major demands included Dhruv Helicopters and Bullet-proof jackets. Malaysia’s share was of Sukhoi 30 avionics and MIG spares. Offshore Patrol Vessels have been sent to Mauritius and Jaguar Aircraft spares along with services to Oman.
India’s approximate exports of material have reached INR 990 crores, which is 200% as compared to over a period of last 2 fiscal years.
Also, the government is now involving the private sector by sharing the proposals of country owned equipments like the Rustom Drone, in order to stimulate technological advancement and probably enhancing foreign sales.
Besides taking so many steps in this regard, there is still a long to reach its proposed destination. Recently, a long-pending order of 126 Dassault Aviation SA Rafale warplanes was hindered to some extent for the reason that India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. had to complete the order of 108 complex jets which it could not.
Becoming reliant on the private sector to incite exports at a high speed, would require the companies to be efficient enough to design the weapon systems on time. This right now does not seem to be an easy job. But still hopes are high.