Indigenisation gives push to defence exports

Avenues of exports of any country must keep on changing which means the policy of relying on conventional items alone to be kept constantly reviewing. The trends in the international markets play a tremendous role in determining the specific items of basket of exports. We know how over decades in a long row, the US has been successful in remaining the world’s largest arms exporter which for brevity sake, we call as ”defence exports” also. Nearly 40 percent of international arms sales are from the US alone. Agreed, due to unprecedented advanced technology and the latest versions in weaponry and allied hardware in the US, is one of the chief reasons of such a constant boost in their defence products meant exclusively for exports but a larger part of arms in demand still continue to be of non-high sophisticated categories. We need to tap that area.
However, by introduction of indigenisation and exploring the available talent and resources from within the country, constant efforts in increasing our defence products has taken place. We have been holding successfully Security and Defence Trade shows and exhibitions too about some of such arms where buyers from other countries come and show interest in purchases. It is a matter of delight for the countrymen that Asia’s largest defence expo- known as DefExpo 2022 is scheduled to be held from Oct 8 to 12 at Gandhinagar Gujarat. It will be India’s Flagship Defence Exhibition. Not only in conventional products and weaponry, even latest versions and at competitive prices products like Tejas fighter aircraft , the first indigenously developed howitzer gun ATAGS which became a part of 21 gun salute during this year’s independence day ceremony at the Red Fort, the INS Vikrant and the like coupled with developing indigenous satellite based communication network are a few instances of the mite and expertise of indigenous strength and talent of this country. The reports that even our most advanced version of ballistic missile BrahMos is enticing interest among many countries are quite highly encouraging commercially for the country.
The days of monopoly, if not a hegemonic hold, by a few selected countries only in the area of manufacturing advanced versions of defence items have gone and new entrants chiefly countries like India have been steadily finding their place in international markets, though we may still treat ourselves as new entrants which means much is needed to be done. Needless to add, contrary to earlier “causes” of exports of arms by ”big” countries stated to be keeping their allies militarily strong only is proving wrong as the fact of the matter, as is adequately proved now is that only economic motives drive arms sales and India, therefore, is increasing its defence exports only for economic considerations.
The other motive of such exports is resulting in the country moving fast from an importer country to an exporter country in most of the military hardware though for acquiring the latest versions of certain items of strategic importance, imports are made but on account of a paradigm shift in the policy, collaboration and importing the requisite know how and expertise in such latest versions are meant for later locally manufacturing of such products. Constant efforts both by our public as well as private sectors have brought out results in production of defence products beyond the expectations of the country. That has resulted in its prime objective of expanding and increasing the volume of exports. It is quite heartening that the country has been in a position to keep the number of countries importing our defence products on the rise which are over 75 as on date.
The most important achievement in this sphere is a steady, consistent and ever rising growth in such exports to other countries during the last 5 years which as per the latest available data is a whopping increase of 334 percent. It is a moment of feeling really proud of the collaborative efforts of those engineers, researchers in the field, scientists, technicians and others who are constantly gauging the trend of demand for such products and accordingly manufacturing them for exports. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and its other wings in the country are performing well in the field of defence related products of the levels of international standards. This also vindicates the stand to popularise “Make in India” and “Vocal for local” to lead to more of innovative approach for achieving self reliance and hence be ”professional” exporters of defence products and to keep such exports constantly increasing. That would also, most importantly, give a great push to more opportunities for employment of people.