India's emergence as a global defence-manufacturing hub is making waves in the international community. In the financial year 2023, India plans to spend a whopping Rs 2.71 lakh crores ($33 billion) on defence equipment, with 99% of it being sourced from Indian industries.
This is a significant shift in India's defence procurement strategy, which has been gradually moving towards indigenous manufacturing and away from imports.
India's focus on indigenous defence manufacturing has resulted in a decline in defence imports, which fell by 11% between 2013-17 and 2018-22.
The shift is driven by a complex procurement process, efforts to diversify arms suppliers, and a push to replace imports with locally designed equipment. In FY22, domestic procurement accounted for 68% of India's defence equipment purchases.
This focus on indigenous manufacturing has not only benefited the Indian Armed Forces but also helped India become a significant player in the global defence market.
In FY23, India's defence exports are set to touch Rs 17,000 crore ($2.1bn), with orders from countries like Indonesia, Armenia, and the Philippines.
India's exports of defence supplies range from missiles, helicopters, and aircraft to bulletproof jackets, ballistic helmets, and night vision devices.
India is also making aero-structures for American Defence giant Boeing's AH-64 Apache helicopters, supplying air-to-air missile launchers and sub-systems to MBDA France for Rafale fighter jets, and has tied up with American defence giant Lockheed Martin to make wing sets for the F-16 Block 70 fighter aircraft.
The Indian defence industry has come a long way, and India's next target is to achieve defence manufacturing worth Rs 1,75,000 crore ($21.4bn), including defence exports of Rs 35,000 crore ($4.3bn) by 2024-25.
India presently exports defence supplies to over 80 countries, and the country's emergence as a defence-manufacturing hub is making world powers take note.
India's domestic defence manufacturing capabilities have come a long way, and the country is now a significant exporter of defence supplies.
With a robust defence manufacturing ecosystem, India has the potential to become a global leader in defence manufacturing.
As India continues to expand its defence manufacturing capabilities, it is set to become a key player in the global defence market.