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What has happened?

  • For the first time India has recorded Rs 13,000 crore in defence exports, says a top Ministry of Defence official.
  • At a media briefing in New Delhi, Sanjay Jaju, Additional Secretary in the Department of Defence Production (DDP), said “In 2021-22, we have recorded the highest ever exports number in defence.”
  • Adding, “We have touched Rs 13,000 crore, which is almost eight times of what it was almost 4-5 years ago.”

To which countries?

  • Responding to media queries, Mr Jaju said that India exported military components and platforms to several countries including the US, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
  • According to him the items as well technology exported touched
  • Rs 13,000 crore registering a 54.1% rise over the previous year.
  • Due to COVID-19 in the last two years, there was a bit of a setback.
  • However, the export of defence equipment and platforms is back on track.
  • India’s defence exports were worth Rs 8,434 crore in 2020-21, Rs 9,115 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 2,059 crore in 2015-16.

Private or Public?

  • The exports to various countries are through both the private as well as public sector companies – “70% of this is due to the private sector and 30% is through the public sector,” Mr Jaju stated.
  • On Monday, two top exporters – one each from the public and private sector will be rewarded by the Ministry of Defence.

Types of equipment exported?

  • Military hardware being exported by India include missiles, the advanced light helicopter, offshore patrol vessels, personal protective gear, surveillance systems and a variety of radars, officials said.
  • In January, India’s BrahMos Aerospace and the Philippines signed a deal worth almost $375 million for the Philippine Marines,
  • To acquire three batteries of the BrahMos cruise missile, a shot in the arm for New Delhi’s efforts to emerge as an exporter of major defence hardware.
  • The military hardware that holds export potential includes the light combat aircraft, Astra beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile, Akash surface-to-air missile system, tanks, sonars and radars.
  • “India has a good strategy and action plan in place, backed by forward-looking policies, to ensure self-reliance in defence, and boost
  • the country’s status as a net exporter of weapons in the coming years,” said military affairs expert Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia (retd).

Steps taken to boost export

  • In December 2020, the Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its go-ahead to the sale of Akash missile systems to friendly foreign countries.
  • It also created a high-powered panel for swifter approvals to export of military hardware. India has set a target of clocking defence exports worth $5 billion by 2024.
  • In sharpened focus on getting a toehold in foreign markets, the government granted close to a thousand export authorisations last year,
  • Nearly four times the number approved five years before that, and cut down the time for such approvals by a third between 2017 and 2021.

To boost defence production

  • Also, India has imposed a phased import ban on 310 different weapons and systems during the last two years.
  • These weapons and platforms will be indigenised in phases over the next five to six years.
  • In April, the defence ministry said it had exceeded its target for indigenous defence purchases in 2021-22 indicating a major boost to the country’s push towards self-reliance.
  • The defence ministry earmarked 64% of the capital acquisition budget for the domestic industry in 2021-22,
  • But it was able to “overachieve this target” and local military purchases accounted for 65.5% of the capital budget, according to data from the defence ministry.
  • The total capital expenditure for 2021-22 stood at ₹1,14,910 crore, of which ₹75,140 crore was spent on local weapons and systems.

Artificial intelligence in defence

  • First ever “Artificial Intelligence in Defence” event to be inaugurated by defence minister Rajnath Singh on Monday in New Delhi.
  • It is organised by the Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence.
  • There will be a symposium and a defence exhibition where cutting edge AI-enabled solutions will be showcased.
  • These have been developed by the Services, Research Organisations, Startups, Industry and Innovators.
  • Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar told the media that 75 newly-developed AI products/technologies will be launched to commemorate 75 years of India’s Independence.
  • There will be products in the area of speech/voice analysis and Command, Control, Communication, automation/unmanned/robotics systems, cyber security, logistics and supply chain management, human behaviour analysis, etc.

Q) What is ‘RaIDer-X’, which was developed by HEMRL, the lab of DRDO and Indian Institute of Science?

  1. Artillery Gun
  2. Explosive Detection Device
  3. Gun-shot Locator
  4. Bullet-proof jacket




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