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New Delhi: In a strategically weak position to be among the top three arms importers in the world for years, India now wants to build a major defense industrial base (DIB) for self-sufficiency. Weapon system And exports to other countries within the next five years.
Ministry of Defense released the draft Defense Production and Export Promotion Policy on Monday (DPEPP 2020), with the stated objective of achieving a turnover of 1,75,000 crore rupees ($ 25 billion), including exports of 35,000 crore rupees ($ 5 billion) in aerospace and defense goods and services by 2025.
a Similar draft policy Similar goals were set in 2018, but nothing much came out of it. The current Indian defense industry has an estimated size of about Rs 80,000 crore, with the public sector contributing around 80%.
There is no getting away from the fact that India is in dire need to increase its runaway DIB to make the private sector jump into defense production in a major way.
The public sector, which includes DRDO and its 50 laboratories, four defense shipyards, five defense PSUs and 41 ordnance factories, also needs to be substantially overhauled to deliver state-of-the-art weapon systems without incurring massive time and cost overruns. is.
The ongoing military confrontation with China only served to push this campaign forward with 1.5 million strong armed forces ranging from drones and assault rifles to missiles and ammunition to maintain operational readiness in the northern direction. Can be used. Boundaries.
But whether the stated goal of the draft DPEPP 2020, envisaged as an overreaching document “to provide a focused, structured and critical thrust for defense production capabilities”, could be seen in five years.
The draft DPEPP states that its objective is to reduce dependence on imports through domestic design and development and to advance the “Make in India” initiative, as also to promote the export of defense products under the policy of composite as self-sufficient India is.
For example, DRDO will set up missions in select areas with the armed forces and other scientific and industrial installations to develop weapons systems in the future.
These range from hypersonic, ballistic and cruise missiles to armored vehicles, gas turbine engines, submarines, fifth-generation fighter jets, transport aircraft, robotics and airborne sensors.
The draft policy brings out several strategies with areas focused on procurement reforms; Indigenization and support to MSMEs / startups; Optimization of resource allocation; Investment incentives, FDI and ease of doing business; Innovation and R&D; DPSUs and Ordnance Factories; Quality assurance and testing infrastructure; And promoting exports.
The policy, after the government’s arrival in May, makes it clear that the armed forces will have to excuse their weapons to foreign foreign systems, unless they can be made in India through joint ventures with global armaments and aviation companies .
The government had also announced that some arms imports would be restricted through a progressively expanded negative list, while the FDI limit would be raised to 74% from the current 49% in the defense production sector through the automatic withdrawal route.
With an annual defense budget of around $ 70 billion, India lags behind only the US ($ 732 billion) and China ($ 261 billion) in terms of military spending worldwide. It is also the second largest buyer of foreign weapons in the world after Saudi Arabia, accounting for 9.2% of global arms imports during 2015–2019, as previously reported by TOI.
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