Defence Manufacturing and Production in India

IAS Prelims 2023

The requirements of defence equipment for the Indian Armed Forces are met through both indigenous production and imports.

During the last two financial years (2014-15 and 2015-16), 108 contracts with total value of Rs.1,12,736.81 crore have been signed for capital procurement of defence equipment, out of which 73 contracts involving a value of Rs.72,303.34 crore were signed with Indian vendors.

During 2014-15 and 2015-16, the Defence Acquisition Council has accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AON) to 114 capital procurement cases involving an estimated cost of Rs.2,25,022 crore of which 85 cases involving Rs.1,60,362 crore are under the ‘Buy (Indian)’, ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ and ‘Buy & Make’ categories.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), an R&D Wing of Ministry of Defence, is primarily involved in design and development of strategic, complex and security sensitive systems in the fields of armaments, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, radars, electronic warfare systems, sonars, combat vehicles, combat aircraft, sensors, etc., for the Armed Forces as per their specific Qualitative Requirements. DRDO also interacts with private companies and academia right from inception of the projects.

Most of the DRDO developed technologies / systems are equivalent to or better than their counterparts worldwide.

In so far as the self-sufficiency in Defence is concerned, various indigenously designed and developed weapon platforms, viz, Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH), Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Akash Missile Systems, Multi Barrel Rocket System – Pinaka, MBT Arjun Tanks, Sonars, etc., have been successfully inducted into the Services.

Government has launched the Technology Development Fund, accorded highest preference to ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM)’ category of acquisition, and completely revised the ‘Make’ procedure in the Defence Procurement Procedure-2016 (DPP) in order to promote indigenous design, development and manufacturing through Indian defence industry.

Apart from these, the Government has taken steps for liberalisation of the FDI policy & Industrial Licensing policy, simplification of export procedures, creating level playing field for Indian private and public sector companies and streamlining of offset guidelines, which are likely to result in greater impetus to defence research and innovation, and thus lead to self-sufficiency in defence in the country.