The country’s arms exports have grown by six times since 2014, amounting to 11,607 crore during FY 2021-22 and aims to reach an export target of 36,500 crore by 2025
With a loud and clear message to make India a selfreliant defence nation, the Government has been pushing the “Atmanirbharta Abhiyan” extensively. From the Ministry to the DPSUs (Defence Public Sector Units), the long-established manufacturing giants to the start-ups, everyone is on board to “Make in India, Make for the world”. It has been reiterated that ‘Atmanirbharta’ does not mean isolation; it is India’s resolve to become self-dependent while fulfilling the needs of other countries. Alongside innovations, the government has also been exploring the avenues of Artificial Intelligence, Quantum communication technology, unmanned systems and other technical advancements for defence manufacturing & export.
According to the data released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), with Government’s increased focus on indigenisation and procurement of defence products from the domestic resources, the expenditure on defence procurement from foreign sources has reduced from 46 per cent to 36 per cent in the last four years. During this time, the Government has also accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) to 162 proposals worth 2,51,130 crore approximately, under various categories of Capital procurement from domestic sources. The value of defence exports during the financial year 2021-22 has been reported as 12,815 crore.
A major reform that the Ministry has undertaken is export promotion. At an event in September, the Defence Minister asserted that the Government is leaving no stone unturned to realise the dream of a ‘New India’ as titled by the Prime Minister, which is not dependent on any country to fulfill its needs, especially those related to security. Throwing light on the progress achieved, he underlined, “defence exports, which were once 1,900 crore, have now crossed 13,000 crore. I am confident of achieving the target of 1.75 lakh crore of defence production by 2025, which includes export of 35,000 crore.”
India witnessed a 21 per cent decline in imports during 2017-21 versus 2012-16 due to the growing emphasis on indigenous design and manufacturing of defence equipment. MoD also stated that the country’s arms exports have seen a six-times rise since 2014, amounting to 11,607 crore ($1.5 billion) during FY 2021-22 and the government is ambitious to reach an export target of 36,500 crore ($4.8 billion) by 2025. Defence exports of India has expanded to more than 75 countries in the world. According to Rajnath Singh, India has the potential to supply various types of missile systems, helicopters, multi-purpose light transport aircraft, warships, artillery gun systems, patrol vessels, radars, tanks, armed vehicles, digital warfare systems, etc, to the world.
(till June 2022)
|Total Export Value||10746||9116||8435||12815||1387*|
The value of defence exports during the financial year 2021-22 has been reported as 12,815 crore
The Government has taken several policy initiatives in the past few years and brought in reforms to encourage indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment, thereby promoting self-reliance in defence manufacturing & technology in the country. Some of the important steps, as shared by the Ministry, include:
The Minister called upon the Indian defence industry to identify and manufacture state-of-the-art cost-effective products/technologies to realise the vision of a ‘New India’ that not only caters to its own needs, but also fulfills international requirements. “The constantly-evolving global scenario has led to an increase in demand for military equipment across the world, with countries focussing on bolstering their security systems. I urge the industry to take advantage of this current golden period of the Indian defence sector and enhance participation through increased investment in the two defence corridors.”
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Defence Minister underlined that the government has played the role of an incubator, catalyst, consumer and facilitator in the case of private industry. Several steps have been taken by the Ministry under the Government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Self-reliant India’ initiatives to change the old traditions, and create a manufacturing climate, in which the public and private sectors could participate. “The magnitude of all these efforts is beginning to come before us. Today we are not only producing to meet our own defence needs, but also fulfilling the defence needs of many other countries under ‘Make for the World’. It is a matter of great happiness that defence exports have increased manifold from what we used to have. We used to be counted as one of the biggest arms importers in the world until now. But today we are one of the top 25 arms exporting countries of the world.”
As of August 1, 2022, the defence exports in the country stood at 1,381 crore in FY 2022-23. The country is targeting to export military hardware worth 35,000 crore ($5 billion) in the next five years, and seems to be going strong towards that goal since multiple deals have been signed in the recent past and many more seem to be on the way as the government continues to press on “Make in India, Make for World”.
“The Indian Defence sector, the second largest armed force, is at the cusp of revolution. Defence exports grew by 334 per cent in the last five years; India is now exporting to over 75 countries due to collaborative efforts,” PIB had shared towards the end of September.
In the fiscal year 2021–2022, India’s exports of defence and technology products reached a record high of 12,815 crore, up 54.1 per cent over the previous year. It is pertinent to note that exports increased by approximately eight times in the fiscal year 2022 compared to the last financial year. According to the Department of Defence Production, some of the major export destinations for defence products have been Italy, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Russia, France, Nepal, Mauritius, Israel, Egypt, UAE, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Poland, Spain and Chile etc. The major defence items being exported are Personal Protective items, Offshore Patrol Vessels, ALH Helicopter, SU Avionics, Bharati Radio, Coastal Surveillance Systems, Kavach MoD II Launcher and FCS, Spares for Radar, Electronic System and Light Engineering Mechanical Parts etc.
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Some of the major deals have been listed below:
The emphasised focus on self-reliance is not only likely to strengthen India’s defence position in the current highly volatile geopolitical scenarios but also enhance its strategic independence as well as boost the economy and global relations. The defence sector promises to play a vital role in making India a $5 trillion economy with defence exports making a significant contribution.