India targets $5 billion in defence exports in 5 years
11 February 2020
The government is planning a big push to defence exports from the country by expanding its current export basket, to include arms and ammunitions as also missile systems and fighter jets. It has set a target of $5 billion for defence exports from the country.
India, a major importer of defence equipment, has been steadily making a presence in the defence products export front as well, although in a limited way, exporting minor products such as blankets, soft armor, bombs etc.
The country exports several defence and related products to a number of countries, including major export market like the US, Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, South Africa and Sweden.
India currently exports minor defence products such as passive night sight
over-vest with 2 plate, helmet, PE panel, bomb suppression blanket, soft armour panel, cartridges, MK-4 sleeping bag complete with inner lining, modules and programming cards, brake parachute with pulley, repair kit and manual for brake, unit level switch board (ULSB) Mk III, rifle, costal surveillance system, DO-228 aircraft, spare parts for radar like power supply module card radar distribution card, amplifier, bus bar interface card, bullet-proof vest, rail detonators, shelter SDGM, technical platform, 155x52mm cal barrel, laser transmitter, mine protected vehicle and primer and ammunition, over-vest, helmet, soft armour panel, etc to some 42 countries.
The export list has countries ranging from Azerbaijan to the United States, minister of state for defence, Shripad Naik, informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply on Monday.
He, however, said the “cost of the items and quantum of foreign exchange earned varies from company to company" and the ministry did not keep a record of the quantum of foreign exchange earned.
Indian defence product exports to Australia included 5.56x45mm Ball MK N(SS109) cartridges, while it exported protective headgear and hard armour plates to Azerbaijan, helmets, bomb suppression blanket and soft armor panels to Germany, sleeping bags to Guinea, mortar shell covers to Israel, hard armour plates to the Netherlands and the US, radar parts, bullet proof vests and helmets with accessories to Singapore, detonators to South Africa and night vision binoculars to Thailand.
Indian exports to Qatar, Lebanon, Iraq, Equador, Uruguay, Japan and Egypt primarily comprised body protecting equipment, Naik said in his written response.
The minister was responding to a question in Parliament after the biennial Defence Expo in Lucknow that drew more than 1,000 Indian and foreign companies and more than 40 foreign delegations.
Under the 'Make in India' flagship programme outlined in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi government has been laying emphasis on defence manufacturing in India to build up the country's manufacturing base, and ensure jobs for all.
India is the second largest importer of defence equipment just behind Saudi Arabia in 2019, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
In his speech at the DefExpo last week, Modi urged foreign manufacturers to set up base in India. He said export of defence equipment from India was worth about Rs2,000 crore in 2014, the year he took office. In the last two years, it had gone up to Rs17,000 crore and in the next five years, India’s target was to export of $5 billion worth of military hardware which is about Rs35,000 crore, Modi said.