Theme:

  • In the financial year 2021-22, India’s defence exports reached Rs. 13,000 crores, the highest ever.

India’s Defence exports – The present situation:

  • As of 2021, India is the 23rd largest arms exporter in the world. India’s share in the defence exports market is 0.2%. Ten countries (China, France, Germany, Russia, US, Israel, Italy, South Korea, Spain, and Britain) have a 90% share of the defence export market.
  • India’s BrahMos deal with the Philippines worth Rs. 2800 crores signed in January 2022, is the first major Defence export. This deal is a milestone in India’s relations with the Indo-Pacific region. This can pave the way for potential defence exports agreement with Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
  • Defence budget 2022-23 opened 25% of the R&D funds to the private sector, startups and academia. Moreover, the budget also mentioned that 68% of the capital outlay will be spent on procuring the equipment from domestic defence manufacturing companies. This is a big boost for the domestic defence industry and paves the path for Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) Bharat in the defence sector. Thereby, this can lead to an increase in defence exports from India.
  • India is aiming to achieve Rs. 35,000 crores worth of defence exports by the year 2025.

What more need to be done:

  • To compete with the biggest defence exporters of the world, India needs to manufacture high-quality and advanced weapons at competitive and affordable prices.
  • Top defence exporting countries often make lifetime maintenance support contracts with the equipment importing nations. India too should make such contracts to compete with the biggest defence exporters.
  • India should work on making deals with the biggest arms importers such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Australia etc. to increase the defence exports to a great extent.
  • India should work on gaining trust, which is a prerequisite for the defence imports market. We should fix the loopholes to improve reliability. In the year 2015, Ecuador cancelled the contract with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) after four Dhruv advanced light helicopters, which the country bought from India malfunctioned. This a lesson for us to increase investment in trial and testing infrastructure.
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Conclusion:

India has come a long way in defence exports and reached an all-time high at Rs. 13,000 crores in the financial year 2021-22. The country has the potential to compete with the biggest arms exporters of the world.

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