India’s defence exports have increased from ₹1,521 crore in 2016-17 to ₹8,434.84 crore in 2020-21. The figure stood at ₹10,745 crore in 2018-19. The Government has set an ambitious target to achieve exports of about ₹35,000 crore ($5 billion) in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2025.
Which Indian companies are major exporters?
While giving out the value of defence exports, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha earlier this week, “Further, the names of the major defence items exported cannot be divulged due to strategic reasons”.
According to the latest report of the Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), three Indian companies figure among the top 100 defence companies in the 2020 rankings — Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Ordnance Factory Board and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL). “Their aggregated arms sales of $6.5 billion were 1.7% higher in 2020 than in 2019 and accounted for 1.2% of the top 100 total,” the report, released earlier this month, said.
There was an overall drop in India’s arms imports between 2011-15 and 2016-20, according to another SIPRI report of 2020 and while India remained among the top importers, it was also included in the Top 25 defence exporters.
What are the big-ticket items that India can export?
Addressing the Indian Ocean Region Defence Ministers conclave at Aero India 2021, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced that India was ready to supply different types of missile systems, LCA/helicopters, multi-purpose light transport aircraft, warships and patrol vessels, artillery gun systems, tanks, radars, military vehicles, electronic warfare systems and other weapons systems to IOR nations.
In February, talking of the neighbourhood, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the changing geopolitical reality was that many smaller nations were now worried about security and would look towards India as it had the strength of low-cost, high-quality production.