Less than three months after becoming prime minister, Narendra Modi, in his address from the Red Fort on August 15, 2014, gave a clarion call for “Make in India”. From satellites to submarines, he said, “come make in India, we have steel… we have discipline, we have resolve… sell anywhere, (but) make in India.”
However, despite tall claims of moving towards self-reliance in the defence sector, India’s arms imports have shot up by 24 per cent between 2013 and 2017. No major contract under the Make in India category has really taken off and critical defence procurement happened with no transfer of technology.
Several global defence giants, including Europe’s Airbus group, America’s Lockheed Martin, Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and France’s Naval Group have made offers to India. Said Ashish Saraf, country head of Airbus helicopter division in India: “Airbus is planning to assemble its naval utility helicopters, including the Panther, for both domestic and export markets (including India). These helicopters are being used by the navies of 18 countries, including the US Coast Guard.” Read more