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Ministry of Defence Bans 100+ Military Imports, Domestic Industrial Complex to Get a Boost

Defence minister Rajnath Singh (ANI File Photo )

India will promote local manufacturing and will put a stop to imports of more than 100 items used by the armed forces. This was reported by the defense minister of India, Rajnath Singh. Among these embargoed items remains not just simple parts, but also some high technology weapon systems.

The statement from the Defense Ministry of India said that the production of these materials will start gradually. Products like the sniper rifles and high combat helicopters will start in December of this year. They are also targeting to start the production of land-attack cruise missiles in December 2025.

Between April 2015 and August 2020, similar items were imported by the government to aid the defense of the country for 3.5 trillion rupees ($47 billion) as reported by Bloomberg. It is estimated that contracts worth Rs. 4 trillion rupees will be handed out to Indian manufacturers within the next seven years as said by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh by twitter. (contd.)

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This is a step taken by the Prime Minister of India to save the Indian economy after the decline during the coronavirus pandemic. During the face of a pandemic, the raw faced supply disruption from China, which posed several problems for the Indian defense. The pandemic also exposed the severe condition of the country’s economy. Moreover, the lockdown across the nation caused not only thousands but millions of job losses. This will boost the economy to a certain extent as it can be foreseen and most importantly, it will reduce the country’s reliance on imports.

Laxman Kumar Behera, a senior fellow at the New Delhi-based Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, said that many objects of the list that have been produced are in the research and development stage. Some of those items are communication satellites, conventional submarines, and light machine guns as reported by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg also reported the comments of Laxman Kumar Behra as he said, “Importantly while assuring Indian industry, the government has kept the door open for foreign collaboration for technology transfer. The move to stop imports is user-driven, therefore there will be accountability.”

Just a week after draft defense procurement policy of the defense ministry projected turnover of Rs 1.75 lakh crore in defense manufacturing by 2025, the announcement was made.

The minister himself added by saying, “This is a big step towards self-reliance in defense. It also offers a great opportunity to the Indian defense industry to rise to the occasion to manufacture the items in the negative list by using their design and development capabilities or adopting the technologies designed and developed by the DRDO”.

According to the minister, they created the list after several meetings and consultations with stakeholders, including the three services, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), defense public sector undertakings, ordnance factory board, and private industries.

The Ministry of Defense will enforce the embargo on 69 items from December 2020 and on another 11 items on December 2021. A ban on the import of long-range land-attack cruise missiles will start from December 2020. The minister added more such items will be highlighted to be banned after consulting the stakeholders. He added that a note will be added in defense acquisition procedure (DAP) so that no items in the list are up for import in the future as reported by BloombergQuint.

India is among the top five countries that spend most on defense. It joined this feat with the US and China three years back as the geopolitical tension around the border increased substantially during the last few years. With this it is projected that along with decreasing the reliance on other countries and increasing jobs, it will also decrease the cost. With tensions again rising in the Line of Actual Control as Chinese militants are being found to be accumulating their forces in the other side of the border, this move shows a lot of intent to grow the country’s economic and defense structure from the Ministry of Defense and will aid to the Prime Minister’s call for Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Some items of the list:

  • Trainer aircraft
  • Lightweight rocket launchers
  • Multi-barrel rocket launchers
  • Missile destroyers
  • Sonar systems for ships
  • Rockets
  • ASTRA-MK I beyond visual range air-to-air missiles
  • Light machine guns and artillery ammunition (155 mm) and ship-borne medium-range guns
  • Artillery guns
  • The short-range surface to air missiles
  • Cruise missiles
  • Offshore patrol vessels
  • Electronic warfare systems
  • Next-generation missile vessels
  • Floating dock
  • Anti-submarine rocket launchers
  • Short-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

 

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