- India commissioned its first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, on 2nd September 2022. It has strengthened India’s naval power and is seen as a huge win for Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
- INS Vikrant is the first aircraft carrier completely designed and manufactured domestically in India, which is a significant accomplishment for India’s pursuit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
- India joined the exclusive group of countries that have the capability to design and build carriers with a displacement of over 40,000 tonnes, which includes U.S, U.K, Russia, France and China.
- INS Vikrant will play a significant role in the Indian Navy’s attempts to develop into a blue water force, capable of projecting its presence on far off seas.
- India now has two operational aircraft carriers with the commissioning of INS Vikrant, which helps in strengthening the country’s maritime security.
- A warship has three components in its development: Float, Move and Fight. Indian Navy has been able to achieve about 90% indigenization in the Float category, followed by about 60% in Move category.
Steps taken towards Indigenization of defence sector:
- Development cum Production Partner Initiative, which ensures involvement of industries from the beginning of development cycle and lead to reduction in the time-frame of the development-to-induction cycle.
- Defence India Startup Challenge, aimed at supporting Startups, MSMEs and Innovators to create prototypes and/or commercialize products/solutions in the area of National Defence and Security.
- SRIJAN Portal, which will give information on items that can be taken up for indigenization by the private sector.
- Increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit from 49% to 74%.
- Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), which focuses on self-reliance and indigenization in defence & aerospace
- Positive Indigenization List( Defence Procurement Policy), to streamline the procurement of military hardware for the Armed Forces in a systematic and time-bound manner.
- Dependence on Import for Subsystems and Components. In the Flight category of warship development we have achieved only about 30% indigenisation. Imports make up the remainder.
- Growing Chinese Influence in the Indian Ocean.
- The Navy suffers from cost and time overruns throughout most production projects, for example, INS Vikramaditya was inducted into service more than 10 years after it was purchased.
- Our submarine fleet is outdated and in need of improvement.
- India needs to start development of core military technologies indigenously. It will significantly enhance our naval capabilities.
- The large private industries and Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs), needs to partner to achieve the goal of self reliance of the Indian Navy.
- To remain combat-ready until indigenous equipment is available, we must continue the acquisition programme to meet our current operational needs.
- India should also pay attention in increasing the exports of Indian defense equipments to other countries.
- Even though we have created great battleships and aircraft carriers, our shipyards must continually strive to improve in order to meet world standards for quality, productivity, and construction times. This will ensure that we receive the most value from domestic production and eliminate the need to seek elsewhere.
INS Vikrant provides a massive boost to our naval power and helps us in affectively countering the String of Pearls strategy of China to surround India in Indian ocean. INS Vikrant is a step toward achieving blue water navy status where we would be enough capable to protect our interests in international waters. There are still many challenges that we need to overcome to become strong as well as self reliant but with the moto ‘I defeat those who fight against me’, INS Vikrant makes every Indian proud and confident that India will become a superpower.
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