Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh | Photo: ANI
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh | Photo: ANI
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New Delhi: In a bonanza for the fledgling domestic industry, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Sunday announced a negative list of 101 imports and their time tables. These include weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, transport aircraft, light combat helicopters (LCHs) and even wheeled armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs).

Contracts worth almost Rs 4 lakh crore will be placed with the domestic industry within the next six to seven years, Singh said in a statement, citing the services’ internal assessment.

Of these, items worth almost Rs 1,30,000 crore each are likely for the Army and the Air Force, while items worth almost Rs 1,40,000 crore are expected by the Navy.

Almost 260 schemes of such items were imported by the three services at an approximate cost of Rs 3.5 lakh crore between April 2015 and August 2020, said Singh.

The Union Ministry of Defence (MoD) has also bifurcated the capital procurement budget for 2020-21 between domestic and foreign capital procurement routes. “A separate budget head has been created with an outlay of nearly Rs 52,000 crore for domestic capital procurement in the current financial year,” said Singh.

He said the embargo on imports is planned to be progressively implemented between 2020 and 2024.

“Our aim is to apprise the Indian defence industry about the anticipated requirements of the Armed Forces so that they are better prepared to realise the goal of indigenisation,” the minister said, adding that the move comes in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a self-reliant India.

A due note will also be made in the Defence Acquisition Procedures to ensure that no item in the negative list is processed for import in the future.


Also read: India, China generals meet today as ‘PLA keeps up Pangong incursions, blocks army at Depsang’


What the items are

The negative import list includes wheeled AFVs, with an indicative embargo date of December 2021. The Army is expected to contract almost 200 of these at an approximate cost of over Rs 5,000 crore.

Similarly, the Navy is likely to place demands for submarines, with an indicative import embargo date of December 2021. It expects to contract about six at an approximate cost of almost Rs 42,000 crore.

For the Air Force, it is decided to enlist the LCA MK 1A with an indicative embargo date of December 2020. The IAF anticipates 123 of these at an approximate cost of over Rs 85,000 crore.

“Hence, there are highly complex platforms that are included in the list of 101 items, of which details of three examples are given above,” the defence Ministry said in a statement.

India’s domestic defence players welcomed the MoD’s decision. “It is a very welcome decision by the Defence Ministry. All our hard work put in over the last four years will finally bear fruits,” said Vivek Krishnan, chief executive officer, SSS Defence, which has brought out a range of small arms and sniper rifles indigenously.

The full list of items released by the defence ministry:

 

 


Also read: Focus on Ladakh, India reviews preparedness at other LAC sectors to foil China mischief


 

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6 Comments Share Your Views

6 COMMENTS

  1. When every other major military power is manufacturing its own arms and ammunitions, why is it so difficult for Indians? We manufacture Uniforms, and Shoes for the military! That is our defence production. Bah! I am sure within a year or so, this list will be amended and imports will be allowed. Even the present government has not been able to change this sorry state of affairs after six years in power. India’s enemies are within India, not outside the borders.

  2. Orders will never be placed , this is only dreams. End result will be procurement. By the time indigenous artillery gun developed and start production,that time world and Chinese may be using electro magnetic rail gun artillery. Pathetic Indian industry and government

  3. The list has several items that are our own design such as LCA Mk 1 , ASTRA BVRAAM and Akash short range AAM. There is no point in putting them on this list as they are purely Indian items. Similarly we have already signed up to make many items under licence such as the submarines, tracked self propelled guns, assault rifles ( AK 203) , Kamov light combat helicopters etc. These items will be made in India so an import ban is meaningless.The crucial point is will we be able to make the next generation of these systems ourselves, in 15 years time ? We have generally failed to upgrade our licensed products and absorb the technical knowledge.

    However some items will boost self reliance such as the air defence systems to succeed the Flycatcher, various ammunition types, towed artillery guns etc.

    We will still be dependent on foreign suppliers for the MMRCA, FGFA, carrier based aircraft , missiles for these aircraft , medium and long range missile defence ( S 400) , heavy transport aircraft etc.

  4. How well this is implemented is the key . Such initiatives are not new , we have seen in Main Battle Tank (MBT) to indigenously build our own flight ear aircrafts ! Such capabilities blossom with mature academic-industry collaborations . Also hoping such efforts are not “pocketed” by a select few close to the decision makers !

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