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'Make in India' to 'Make For the World', New Delhi Vies For Top Spot as Arms Exporter

© AP Photo / Manish SwarupFILE - In this Feb. 20, 2019 file photo, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shakes hand with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a ceremonial welcome in New Delhi, India
FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2019 file photo, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shakes hand with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a ceremonial welcome in New Delhi, India - Sputnik India, 1920, 09.02.2024
India is aiming to emerge as a major exporter of military equipment in the next decade as the South Asian country eyes newer markets in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa amongst others.
From "Make in India" to "Make for the World", India is shifting its focus to manufacturing arms and ammunition, primarily for export purposes, a military veteran has said.
The comments of Major General (Retd) Shashi Bhushan Asthana came in the wake of an Indian state-owned firm bagging an export order for 155mm artillery shells from Saudi Arabia.

MIL Secures Big-Ticket Deal From Saudi Arabia

Munitions India Limited (MIL), an ammunition manufacturer under the country's Ministry of Defense (MoD), secured a $225 million deal with Riyadh.
The company announced the contract on X, formerly Twitter.
"MIL signed a contract worth 225 Million USD for supply of Artillery ammunition to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through its partner, NadrahCompany. Occasion was graced by H. E. Ahmad Abdulaziz Al-Ohali, Governor of the General Authority of Military Industries, KSA and Hon. Raskha Rajya Mantri, Shri Ajay Bhatt," MIL said in a statement on the microblogging site.
Previously, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Armenia had acquired 155 mm shells from India.

Western Ammo Costly, Yet India Manufactures Munitions at Reasonable Price

According to Asthana, the 155mm shells are the mainstay of most artillery units of militaries all around the world and that is why there is a huge demand for 155mm ammunition.
The defense pundit noted that many countries produce 155mm ammunition, including Western nations. But their ammunition is costly.
"On the other hand, India is manufacturing it at a reasonable cost compared with the West, and therefore Saudi Arabia, UAE, and other sovereign states in the Middle East and Central Asia are banking on India to supply this ammunition to them," Asthana told Sputnik India on Thursday.

Sizing Up Quality of India's 'World-Class' 155mm Ammunition

The Kargil war veteran pointed out that India has become self-reliant as far as 155mm artillery shells are concerned and is very much in a position to export. Besides, the quality of Indian 155mm ammunition is as good as shells produced by either Russia or Western nations.
He highlighted that India has been a late starter as far as defense production is concerned but New Delhi's exports of military items have risen almost 23 times from just over $80 million to nearly $2 billion in the last ten years.
"One of the major reasons for this growth has been that the military equipment manufactured by the Western world is extremely expensive," Asthana noted.
The retired Indian Army officer stressed that India was currently way behind Western countries as a major supplier of military hardware. But in the future, India will be able to compete because of cheap labor and technological young manpower.
He expressed that these two advantages can place the South Asian nation in a much better position for defense exports in comparison with the US and European states.

India Aims to Become Huge Exporter of Military Equipment

Furthermore, India was looking at complete self-reliance. While it was trying to 'Make in India', it was aiming to 'Make for the World.
"Hence, with 'Make in India and Make for the World', New Delhi was focusing on indigenous manufacturing as well as collaborations, and that's why several joint-production ventures were likely to come to India, leading to it becoming a big exporter," Asthana concluded.
Indian Navy warship Sumedha has reached Kenya's newly developed Port Lamu on a long-term deployment - Sputnik India, 1920, 02.02.2024
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