Govt races with fine prints for $25 billion local defence manufacturing

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, October 2: Russian invasion of Ukraine has turned the world order on its head, with growing global isolation of Moscow. India too has begun working at a feverish pace to cut down its dependence for Russians defence goods, arms and ammunition.

The Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre has in the past said that India would aim for $25 billion defence productions within the country, and also target $5 billion exports. Atmanirbhar pitch in all sectors predate the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sources in the government have told The Raisina Hills that the Ministry of Defence has prepared an exhaustive policy framework with sectoral focus to achieve the aims of $25 billion local defence manufacturing.

“The drafting work has almost been completed which will work as the enabling framework to rope in the public and private manufacturers in the defence sector. The work gained much speed after Russia invaded Ukraine, jeopardizing India’s dependence on defence goods on the two warring countries,” said a senior ranking official.

The import of the speed at which the draft has been readied is that the Centre would soon begin unveiling scaling up the award of the works to the public and the private players in the defence space from the three wings of the Armed Forces.

“While the public and private players have shown competencies to match the best in the world, they will be encouraged to bring the technology and know-how from the western world,” added the official.

India is stated to have attained an export of Rs 9000 crores in the defence goods, and Pinaka rocket launcher, Brahmos missiles along with the indigenous built tanks are claimed to be in demand in a few of the countries.

“Dependence of Russian defence goods is now an issue of implication for the national security, for the evidences on the grounds suggest that Russia has faced reversals from Ukraine, which has better arms. Russia-China relations also remain a factor for India to look inwards for the defence goods,” said the official.

India is partnering with a number of countries for defence technology transfer and that is hoped to accelerate the pace of the local manufacturing. “The private players are scaling up their operations in quick speed, and we have a strong base locally to significantly enhance the local productions, which will also benefit from the indigenous competence in the electronics competencies,” added the official.

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