Defence Ministry to add weapons systems procured from Indian vendors: Rajnath Singh2 min read . Updated: 10 Aug 2020, 08:23 PM IST
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that his ministry would soon add more defence hardware to a list of 101 platforms whose acquisition from abroad is to be phased out and is to be procured domestically
NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that his ministry would soon add more defence hardware to a list of 101 platforms whose acquisition from abroad is to be phased out and is to be procured domestically.
Speaking at an event in New Delhi Singh said the move by his ministry of unveiling a list of 101 weapons systems, platforms and components needed by the three services that was to be procured from Indian vendors and banned for import, was a step towards making India self reliant.
“The ban on imports of 101 items is a big step towards an Atma Nirbhar Bharat. This list of negative items contains not only small items but weapon systems of high and critical technology. More such items will be added to this list shortly which will save crores of rupees in imports," the minister said according to a statement by the defence ministry.
India is one of the biggest military spenders in the world with a large defence equipment import bill. The US, China and India were the world’s three biggest military spenders in 2019, followed by Russia and Saudi Arabia, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a report in April. India’s spending grew by 6.8 % and touching $71.1 billion, the report said.
The 101 items on the list banned for imports includes submarines and trainer aircraft besides light combat helicopters. The move is seen as boost to indigenous manufacture of military hardware. With this, the defence ministry estimates that contracts worth almost ₹4 lakh crore will be given to domestic industry in the next five to seven years. It has also bifurcated capital procurement budget for 2020-21 between domestic and foreign capital procurement routes. A separate budget head has been created with about ₹52,000 crore for procurement from domestic firms this year, a move hailed by Indian industry.
The announcement comes a few days after India brought out a new Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 (DPEPP 2020) which identified defence manufacturing as a key part of a strategy to kickstart the overall economy, emerging from one of the strictest lockdowns in the world due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Of the ₹4 lakh crore worth of contracts Indian private companies are to get, "almost ₹1,30,000 crore each are anticipated for the Army and the Air Force while items worth almost ₹1,40,000 crore are anticipated by the Navy over the same period," defence minister Rajnath Singh said in a series of tweets on Sunday.
The list includes "not just simple parts but also some high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, LCHs (light combat helicopters) transport aircrafts, radars and many other items to fulfil the needs of our defence services," Singh said.
A separate statement from the defence ministry on Sunday said the Indian Navy is to place orders for six submarines at an approximate cost of almost ₹42,000 crore. This is to be produced by an Indian company along with a foreign technology partner under the strategic partnership model. The Indian Air Force is also looking at placing orders for 123 LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) MK 1A worth an over ₹85,000 crore from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The Indian army is also expected to place an order for 200 wheeled armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) at an approximate cost of over ₹5,000 crore, it said.