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India’s ₹45,000-Crore Defence Push: Fighter Planes and Missiles in Focus

India has taken a significant step towards boosting self-reliance in its defence manufacturing sector by approving the purchase of military hardware worth ₹45,000 crore. This purchase includes fighter planes, missiles, light armoured multipurpose vehicles, integrated surveillance and targeting systems, and survey ships, all aimed at modernizing the country’s armed forces.

Boosting Domestic Defence Industry The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved these acquisitions from Indian vendors, providing a substantial boost to the domestic defence industry. India has allocated a portion of its defence budget for procuring locally made military hardware, with a focus on indigenously designed, developed, and manufactured (IDDM) products. This year, approximately ₹1 lakh crore has been set aside for domestic procurement, marking a significant increase from previous years.

Key Acquisitions Among the approved acquisitions are 12 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets and associated equipment worth ₹11,000 crore from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). These fighters will replace the 12 Su-30 MKIs lost in accidents. Additionally, Dhruvastra short-range air-to-surface missiles, integrated surveillance and targeting systems, next-generation survey vessels, avionics upgrades for Dornier aircraft, and light armoured multipurpose vehicles were given the green light.

Raising Indigenous Content Threshold Defence Minister Rajnath Singh emphasized the need to increase the minimum indigenous content in IDDM projects, suggesting a threshold of 60-65% instead of the current 50%. This move aims to further strengthen India’s self-reliance in defence manufacturing.

Measures to Boost Self-Reliance India has implemented various measures over the past few years to enhance self-reliance in defence, including the creation of a separate budget for domestic procurement, phased import bans, increased foreign direct investment, and improvements in ease of doing business.

Positive Indigenisation Lists India has also published positive indigenisation lists, imposing phased import bans on various weapons and platforms. These lists aim to promote indigenisation and reduce dependency on foreign defence equipment.

This move underscores India’s commitment to bolstering its domestic defence industry and achieving greater self-sufficiency in meeting its security needs.


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