NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India is ramping up domestic production of complex military equipment, the country’s defense minister said on Thursday.
The South Asian nation is heavily dependent on Russia for more than half of its armaments.
With the world’s second largest army, fourth largest air force and seventh largest navy, India was for decades largely dependent on arms imports, particularly from Russia, which in the 1990s supplied 80% of its defense equipment.
Dependence on a single source decreased significantly with the entry of American and European producers into the Indian market in the 2000s, but Moscow remains a key player in the field, supplying around 55% of India’s military equipment.
International sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine since late February have raised doubts about future imports.
“Our main objective is to promote self-reliance and export in the field of defence,” Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said while releasing a list of military equipment to be produced in the country.
The list contains 101 items, including complex defense systems, tanks, sensors, rockets, multi-role helicopters, patrol ships, anti-ship missiles, anti-radiation missiles and other war supplies used by the Indian Armed Forces, Singh added “were previously only imported.
The Department of Defense said in a statement that the weapons and platforms on the list will be procured from local sources within the next five years. He also estimated that orders would total more than $38 billion.
India has been trying to reduce its reliance on military imports from a single source over the past few years.
“The large acquisition of Western platforms over the past five to seven years has diluted this percentage or reduced the share of Russian weapons in the Indian defense market,” said Nandan Unnikrishnan, a senior member of the think tank based at New Delhi Observer Research Foundation. Arab News.
He added that the indigenization of production also contributes to this.
India’s Ministry of Defense has already identified a “positive indigenization list” of more than 300 military items since May last year. The most recent list contains the most expensive and complex equipment to date.
The government said in the 2022-2023 budget that 68% of India’s defense capital purchases would go to local manufacturers.