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Towards Push For Self-reliance, Contracts Worth USD 32 Bn Awarded To 340 Indigenous Arms Producers

Updated: Apr 24, 2024 02:22:49pm

Towards Push For Self-reliance, Contracts Worth USD 32 Bn Awarded To 340 Indigenous Arms Producers

New Delhi, Apr 24 (KNN) India's Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Manoj Pande on Tuesday stated that the Indian Army is transitioning from being a buyer to becoming a partner with Indian industry in the development and production of weapons systems.

Addressing the All India Manufacturers' Association (AIMA) conclave in Delhi, Gen. Pande said the concept of "national champions" is being adopted to build up domestic weapons suppliers with national and global scale.

He noted that the Indian defence industry is investing in research and advanced manufacturing, while the armed forces are supporting them by providing a viable market.

About 340 indigenous arms producers across India have already been awarded defence contracts worth Rs 2.6 lakh crore (USD 32 billion), the COAS revealed.

However, India remains the world's biggest importer of arms, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Russia accounts for 36 per cent of India's arms imports, followed by France at 33 per cent and the United States at 13 per cent.

Gen. Pande acknowledged complaints from senior army officers about shortfalls in quality weaponry, with 65 per cent of the current arsenal being obsolete as of 2018.

He said the army aims to increase its share of state-of-the-art systems and reduce obsolescent equipment by 2030, though this will take time.

Highlighting the progress in indigenisation, the COAS said India's defence exports reached Rs 21,000 crore (USD 2.6 billion) in 2023-24, a 30-fold increase over five years, with significant private sector contribution.

The army is also running 120 projects to indigenise 45 niche technologies.

Gen. Pande stressed the need to increase India's "hard power" capacities to support economic growth, saying countries are not hesitating to go to war in the current geostrategic landscape.

The army is observing 2024 as the "year of technology absorption", with emphasis on indigenously sourcing all operational needs - weapons, ammunition, spares and maintenance.

(KNN Bureau)


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