NEW DELHI: India on Thursday introduced its third negative arms import listing of 101 extra merchandise within the ongoing drive to bolster home defence manufacturing, with defence minister Rajnath Singh warning that import of weapon methods with international software program codes can result in security breaches.
Releasing the third “positive indigenisation list”, Singh pressured the necessity to crank up indigenous growth of weapon methods, platforms, applied sciences and ammunition to cut back strategic vulnerabilities and guarantee “uninterrupted supplies during wars”.
The new listing consists of some massive-ticket merchandise like light-weight tanks, mounted artillery gun methods, naval utility helicopters, some sorts of drones, medium-vary anti-ship and anti-radiation missiles, the imports of which can be progressively banned from December 2022 to December 2027.
Citing the instance of stringent US motion against Chinese telecom big Huawei on nationwide security grounds, Singh stated: “Today, the scope of defence is not limited to borders only. Anyone can now break into a country’s security system with the help of different communication methods. No matter how strong the system is, if it is linked to another country, there is a possibility of a security breach.”
“Earlier, equipment such as tanks, howitzers and helicopters were mainly mechanical in nature. It was not possible to control them. But newer defence systems and platforms are electronic and software intensive. They can be controlled or subverted from anywhere,” he added.
The third listing of 101 gadgets, which provides to the 209 merchandise recognized earlier within the first two lists in 2020 and 2021, additionally consists of subsequent-technology offshore patrol vessels, naval anti-drone methods, MF-STAR warship radars, superior light-weight torpedoes, prolonged vary rockets, land-primarily based loitering munitions and medium-altitude lengthy-endurance UAVs (unmanned aerial autos).
But very like the primary two lists, the third one additionally consists of many merchandise which might be already within the course of of being manufactured in India or are within the R&D or trials part, negating the necessity to import them.
Acknowledging this, an MoD official stated, “The third list lays special focus on equipment and systems which are being developed and are likely to translate into firm orders in next five years. Like the earlier lists, import substitution of ammunition which is a recurring requirement has been given special emphasis this time too.”
India might have progressively decreased weapon imports during the last a number of years but it surely nonetheless stays the world’s largest arms importer, accounting for 11% of international arms imports. The fledgling home defence industrial base requires DRDO, defence PSUs and ordnance factories to drag up their socks in addition to a lot bigger participation from the home personal sector and international majors establishing manufacturing amenities in India.
The authorities has set an formidable goal of rising indigenous navy procurement from the present $10 billion to $20 billion by 2025, in addition to rising defence exports to $5 billion by then.
Singh, on his half, stated the MoD in addition to the armed forces will take all essential steps, together with “handholding of the industry” to create an ecosystem that ensures self-reliance and encourages exports.
Contracts value Rs 54,000 crore have been inked for home defence procurements because the announcement of the primary two lists, with orders value one other Rs 4.5 lakh crore anticipated over the subsequent 5 to seven years, he added.
The DRDO, in flip, has pitched in to strengthen home manufacturing by signing 30 new switch of expertise (ToT) agreements with 25 industries. At the occasion, Singh handed over the agreements for 21 applied sciences, which included counter-drone methods, laser directed power weapons, quantum random quantity mills, excessive-explosive supplies and anti-mine boots.
“The 3rd positive indigenisation list reaffirms the government’s unwavering trust on the capability of the Indian defence industry. The three lists provide a shot in the arm to the domestic defence industry to realise the PM’s Aatmanirbhar vision to build a strong India and attain strategic independence in foreign policy – a much desired aim for all nations in the current global geopolitical situation,” stated Jayant Patil of the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM).