Aatmanirbhar Bharat in Defense Sector 2022

Aatmanirbhar Bharat: The Indian government has launched a number of important initiatives over the past year to improve our defense manufacturing capabilities, arms export targets and missile sectors by 2025. India exported defense equipment worth Rs. 8,434.84 crores in 2020-21 compared to Rs. 1,940.64 crores in 2014-2015.

In September 2021, the Ministry of Defense announced a Rs 22 billion contract with TataAirbus for the acquisition of 56 C295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the defense industry. In November 2021, Rajnath Singh and Raksha Mantri inaugurated the first private defense facility in the Uttar Pradesh Defense Industrial Corridor (UPDIC) in Lucknow.

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The facility, operated by Aerolloy Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of PTC Industries, will produce aircraft and helicopter engine parts, structural parts for aircraft, drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, submarines, ultra-light artillery, launchers and strategies. systems.

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The Indian government is focusing on innovative solutions to strengthen the country’s defense and security through “Innovations for Defense Excellence” (IDEX), which provides a platform for start-ups to collaborate with industrial entities and to develop new technologies and new products in the field of defence. next five years. (20212026). By working with partner incubators, IDEX was able to engage the startup community to participate in the Defense India Startup Challenge (DISC) program.

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The Ministry of Defense has set a target of 70% self-sufficiency in weapons by 2027, which is good for industry players. The department has implemented a Green Channel Status (GCS) policy to encourage and support private sector investment in defense production.

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The MBT “Arjun” Mk1A was handed over by the Prime Minister to the Indian Army on 14 February 2021, and the Ministry of Defense (MoD) placed an order with the Heavy Vehicle Factory, Avadi, Chennai, for provide 118 Main Battle (MBT).

On September 23, the Indian Army will receive the Arjun Mk1A. The “Shakti” electronic warfare system was designed and developed by the Defense Electronics Research Laboratory (DERL) Hyderabad, a laboratory of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), and was launched and handed over to the Indian Navy by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on November 19, 2021.

INS Visakhapatnam, the first vessel of Project 15B, was delivered to Indian Navy by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai on October 28, 2021, and commissioned at IN by Raksha Mantri on November 21, 2021.

Areas requiring special attention

We must be aware that the nation has a host of security issues that go beyond the confines of the conventional battlefield. In this regard, newly emerging threats are more related to cyberspace, space, surveillance and homeland security. A “nation-wide” approach is needed to address the challenges. We may need to look at how countries like Israel, Britain, and the United States use the technical parameters of intelligence to gain a full understanding. They understand the difference between the domains and have used appropriate smart weapons to counter them.

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Securing our borders is the main priority. Therefore, the recent budget proposal to create ‘vibrant cities’ along the northern borders is a step in the right direction. The budget also hints at the formulation of supportive policies and regulations for the “Dawn Treader” sectors of artificial intelligence (AI), spatial data systems, space, genomics and clean mobility systems.

These dual-use technologies can be developed in cooperation with armed forces for civilian and military purposes simultaneously, as well as for capacity building in asymmetric areas. Similarly, the defense needs of strategic rail development can be well synchronized with the rail budget. The development of the IT sector, in particular the deployment of 5G and the development initiatives of the North East, must also target defense and security needs.

We must focus on new weapon systems such as drones and base our war strategies on their use. Let go of the conventional way of thinking. Much has been said about the acquisition of light tanks for the northern front. Suck through drones and use our Vajra9 self-propelled howitzer, which weighs 50 tons and is capable of hitting enemy targets 50 kilometers away. These howitzers can also rotate at zero radii, essentially in the same spot.

Emphasis must be placed on our reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities. The operational environment requires combat readiness across the full spectrum of warfare, from contact to high technology, in the land, sea, air, space and cyber domains, through what has been called the “computation of computerized warfare” (high technology). This must be specific to India, with no one-size-fits-all solution. This requires high technology deployment costs.

It’s time for workers to put on the right shoes. It’s in a field that has all the technologies available globally that can challenge. This extraordinary challenge has been imposed on India by a troubled neighborhood and exacerbated by unresolved border disputes. India has no choice but to rise to the challenge. The recent statement of General Naravane, COAS, also underlined this aspect.

For upgrading technology-based systems, we can hire startups that meet our specific needs. Although we have 250 startups registered under the IDEX program, the focus should be on quality over quantity. Be careful in assuming that adding the technical capabilities of various new companies to the Indian Army could benefit not only citizens and defense personnel, but also businessmen and government officials who are committed to developing self-sufficiency.

The current situation in India

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has again shown the importance of achieving self-sufficiency in the defense sector, as India still depends on Russia for almost 60% of its military equipment, and the war created uncertainty about future supplies from Russia.

According to the SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) report, India accounted for 11% of global arms imports between 2017 and 2021. India is one of the largest arms importers in the world. India depends on Russia for almost 60% of its defense. Defense equipment imports from France increased in 2017-21, making France India’s second largest supplier during this period.

Conclusion

India is taking steps to increase the share of defense equipment manufactured in the country. We come from afar. But more investment and an accelerated process are needed for India to achieve self-sufficiency in defense in the near future.

Although the Indian government is taking steps to boost the national defense industry, the investments are not enough to achieve full self-sufficiency. Furthermore, India should focus on exhibiting Indian equipment at global arms fairs to boost its export market.

Edited by Prakriti Arora

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