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India’s Defence Production, Highest-Ever Growth in FY 2023-24

Context: The Defence Ministry of India announced that FY 2023-24 saw the highest-ever growth in indigenous defence production in India, reaching a record value of ₹1,26,887 crore.

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  • There was 16.7% increase compared to the previous financial year’s defence production, which was valued at ₹1,08,684 crore.
  • A significant majority, approximately 79.2% of the total value of production in 2023-24, was contributed by Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and other Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). The private sector accounted for 20.8%.
  • Both DPSUs/PSUs and the private sector experienced steady growth in defence production in terms of absolute value.
  • Defence exports in FY 2023-24 reached a new high of ₹21,083 crore, a 32.5% increase from the previous year’s ₹15,920 crore.
  • Over the last five years, starting from 2019-20, the value of defence production has steadily increased, showing a growth of over 60%.

Factors Driving Growth

Several factors have contributed to this unprecedented growth in indigenous defence production:

Government Initiatives

The Indian government’s proactive policies and initiatives have played a crucial role in boosting defence production. Programs like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-Reliant India) have provided a strong impetus to domestic manufacturing. The Defence Ministry has also introduced several reforms to promote indigenization, including the revision of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) and the implementation of the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP).

Enhanced R&D and Innovation

Increased investment in research and development (R&D) and innovation has been a key driver of growth in indigenous defence production. Indian defence manufacturers, both in the public and private sectors, have been focusing on developing cutting-edge technologies and high-quality defence products that meet international standards. Collaborations with global defence companies and participation in international defence exhibitions have further enhanced India’s R&D capabilities.

Strategic Partnerships

Strategic partnerships and joint ventures with international defence companies have facilitated technology transfer and the development of advanced defence systems. These collaborations have enabled Indian companies to access global expertise and best practices, enhancing their competitiveness in the global defence market.

Infrastructure Development

The development of state-of-the-art manufacturing infrastructure and facilities has been instrumental in increasing defence production. The establishment of defence industrial corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu has provided a significant boost to the defence manufacturing ecosystem, attracting investments and promoting industrial growth.

Future Prospects

Looking ahead, the future of India’s indigenous defence production appears promising. With continued support from the government, increased participation from the private sector, and sustained efforts in R&D and innovation, India is well-positioned to further enhance its defence manufacturing capabilities. The focus on indigenization and self-reliance is expected to drive significant growth in the coming years, contributing to national security and economic development.

In conclusion, the record growth in indigenous defence production in FY 2023-24 marks a significant achievement for India. The combined efforts of the government, DPSUs, PSUs, and the private sector have paved the way for a self-reliant and robust defence manufacturing ecosystem. As India continues to build on this success, the country is set to emerge as a major player in the global defence industry, contributing to peace and security both domestically and internationally.

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