Defense News
Top stories about the Indian Army, its partners & rivals in the region and the international arena.

Private Sector's Leap Into Defense Field Might Be Game Changer for India's Security

© Photo : Indian Air ForceThe IAF successfully fired the Extended Range Version of the Brahmos Air Launched missile
The IAF successfully fired the Extended Range Version of the Brahmos Air Launched missile - Sputnik India, 1920, 01.03.2024
India this month inaugurated South Asia's largest ammunition and missile manufacturing facility, which is owned by private sector company Adani Defense and Aerospace.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ongoing push to increase the participation of private companies in defence manufacturing will go a long way in helping India achieve self-reliance in the critical sector and shed reliance on exports, a former scientist at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has told Sputnik India.

"In my opinion, it is going to pay rich dividends and I hope that such a trend continues and more and more private sector industries are involved in defense manufacturing," stated Ravi Gupta, who has served as a spokesperson at DRDO.

Gupta, however, highlighted that the "ultimate test" of the private companies involved in the defence sector would be to boost their Research and Development (R&D) expenditure.
"Whether it is the Western Bloc or the Eastern Bloc, the manufacturing of defense products is done in the private sector only," the Indian defence expert said.
"There are very few government companies, maybe in China or Russia. But even in those countries, you will find their private sector industry involved in their defense industry," Gupta said, adding that the private entities in defence production need to invest in their R&D to become globally competent.

'Government Policies Changed Drastically in Last 10 Years'

Gupta highlighted that the Indian government's policies towards the private sector's involvement in the defence sector have changed "drastically" in the last 10 years.
"The thing is that defense R&D is a very sensitive issue. Bulk of the defense R&D in the cutting edge technologies, futuristic technologies and the transitive technologies and particularly the strategic systems where the nuclear things are involved, that has to be done by the government sector industry," he stated.
Gupta recalled that Indian defence manufacturing used to be heavily regulated till the 2000s, consequently becoming "untouchable" of sorts for the private sector due to which it couldn't develop expertise in the sector.
"Till 2001, the DRDO's association with the private industry was limited to manufacturing of component levels, components and subsystems. That was allowed in the policy. Now, once the policy under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government (1999-2004) was relaxed and the private sector was allowed to participate in the manufacturing of complete systems, private companies got involved in manufacturing Pinaka rocket launchers, multi-barrel rocket systems," the expert explained.
The ex-defence official said that the previous governments primarily relied on DRDO to "hand-hold" the private sector to "absorb new technologies", which wasn't an ideal situation.
"Now, there is a lot of push for giving support to private sector industries. Government policies have now changed drastically. The government sector facilities, the test facilities, the development facilities, test ranges have been opened for the private sector. And the DRDO is doing its best by transferring the technologies at a very nominal cost to the private sector industry based on certain policies laid down by the government," Gupta suggested.
He predicted that increased private sector participation in the defence sector would also benefit the "back-end industries", or those involved in developing small components, subsystems, quality control and testing and software development to name a few.

The Current State of Indian Defence Sector

According to Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), New Delhi is the biggest importer of defence products in the world.
Russia ranks as the biggest supplier of arms and weapons systems to India, though in recent years the defence relationship between the two nations has been evolving from a buyer-seller one to co-production, in line with New Delhi's 'Make in India' Policy.
Since 2020, the Indian defence ministry has released five “Positive Indigenisation Lists’, which mandate the procurement of 500 defense equipment as well as 3,000 components and subsystems only through Indian companies.
The fifth list, released in October 2023, calls for substituting imports of futuristic infantry combat vehicles, naval shipborne unmanned aerial system, armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) protection and counter measures system and very high frequency radars among others.
Thanks to the Make in India policy, India's defence exports hit a record of $1.93 billion in 2022-23, with New Delhi now aiming to scale its arms exports to $3 billion by 2026.
Indian Air Force's Sukhoi Su-30MKI takes off during the inauguration of the Aero India 2023 at Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru, India, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 28.04.2023
Indo-Russian Relations
New Delhi Wants Moscow to Contribute to Boosting ‘Make in India’ Defence Sector
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала