In keeping with its objective of boosting indigenous defence manufacture, the defence ministry announced on Monday that it wants to acquire military equipment worth Rs 5 lakh crore from domestic firms over the next five to seven years. In response to a query in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt revealed the expected figure for procurement from domestic sources.
By 2024, India would stop importing 101 weapons and military platforms, including transport planes, light combat helicopters, conventional submarines, cruise missiles, and sonar systems, according to the ministry’s announcement in August 2020.
In May of last year, a second list was released, imposing import restrictions on 108 military weapons and systems, including next-generation corvettes, airborne early warning systems, tank engines, and radars, on a staggered timeframe.
The ministry produced a list in December with 2,500 goods that had already been developed locally. It also unveiled a list of 351 items that will be developed in the country by the end of 2024.
The minister addressed the lists and the government’s priorities in his response.
“The positive indigenisation list includes defence equipment that will be conceived, produced, and built between 2020 and 2025,” he said, adding that it was impossible to assess the reality at this time due to the decision not to import equipment.
“However, it is expected that over the next five to seven years, about Rs 5 lakh crore worth of equipment included in both the positive indigenisation lists will be acquired from domestic sector,” he said.
The government has taken a number of steps in recent years to strengthen domestic defence manufacture. In May of last year, the government declared that the automatic route FDI limit in the defence sector will be increased from 49 percent to 74 percent.
India is one of the world’s top weaponry importers. The Indian armed services are expected to spend over USD 130 billion (one billion equals 100 crores) on capital acquisition during the next five years, according to estimates.
The government has resolved to boost indigenous defence manufacture in order to lessen reliance on imported military platforms.
In the next five years, the Defence Ministry wants to turn over USD 25 billion (Rs 1.75 lakh crore) in defence manufacturing, with a target of USD 5 billion (Rs 35,000 crore) in military gear exports.