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Defence exports boost is enhancing Atmanirbharta

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NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at a Conclave on March 16 declared his intent towards making India a net-exporter of defence products over the next five years. PM Modi’s strategic vision aims for India to emerge as the third-largest economy globally and as a first-rung global military power during his potential third term.

Previously, India was known as an arms importer. However, the country has now risen from its comfort zone, securing a place among the top 25 arms-exporting nations.

Just 7-8 years ago, defence exports barely touched Rs 1,000 crore. Today, they have surged to Rs 16,000 crore.

Projections suggest that by 2028-29, annual defence production will reach Rs 300,000 crore, with defence exports hitting Rs 50,000 crore.

While the government supports major corporations, it also encourages young minds to join the defence sector through startups, considering it a crucial step for the long term. Recent measures, including liberalising procurement from startups, payment terms, and eligibility criteria, were adopted during a Defence Acquisition Council meeting.

The Department of Defence Production issues authorisations for exporting Munitions List items covered in Category-6 of Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment, and Technologies (SCOMET), following Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) issued by the DDP.

Major defence equipment exported in the last five years includes weapon simulators, tear gas launchers, torpedo loading mechanisms, alarm monitoring and control systems, night vision monoculars and binoculars, lightweight torpedoes, fire control systems, armoured protection vehicles, weapons locating radar, high-frequency radios, and coastal surveillance radar systems, among others.

But with countries like Vietnam, the Philippines, and Armenia seeking cutting-edge Indian-manufactured weapons such as the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, Pinaka multiple rocket launchers, Akash anti-aircraft missiles, and Tejas fighter aircraft, exports are expected to skyrocket in the next five years.

Exports of critical and advanced aerospace and defence platforms will not only generate revenues but will also shape India’s geopolitical strategy in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

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