Arms Import Trap and Steps for Boosting Indigenous Defence Manufacturing

Arms Import Trap and Steps for Boosting Indigenous Defence Manufacturing

Question: The security environment in the world has undergone deterioration. Has India been able to escape the costly arms import trap? Elaborate.

• Defence budget has not crossed 2% of GDP many times and optimal use of scarce resources is needed instead of whittling it away on arms imports

• Defence Procurement Procedure has to be revamped to address the procedural problems

• Defence Offsets Management Wing needs to be strengthened

• Defence Acquisition needs to get India out of arms import trap

• India’s acquisition process must lead to the creation of a homegrown manufacturing base delivering on quality, capacity and timeliness of supply

• Nation must have strategic depth of constant supply change; this can only occur with the development of indigenous defence manufacturing

• Obstacles to the development of such manufacturing is due to deputationists and part timers who have no commitment to the spirit of indigenous manufacturing

• Immediate reform of DOMW is critical

• Offsets still being a norm, nation has to pay 10 to 15 percent more in the contract as a cost of offsets

• 36 Rafales from France have a USD 4 billion offset estimate and total offset could reach USD 100 billion in just 10 years

• There needs to be an expansion of staff and training in defence acquisition needs will have to be institutionalised through National Defence University

• Correct pay, ranking and OROP will go a long way in spurring the growth of indigenous technology

• In 2015, budgetary allocation for defence was INR 2.6 lakh crore which is an increase of 7 percent

Facts and Stats

• India is the third largest when it comes to armed forces

• It is also one of the biggest importers of traditional defence equipment

• It spends 40% of its defence budget on capital acquisitions

• About 60% of India’s defence requirements are met via imports

• Allocation for defence in the previous budget was INR 2.4 lakh crore
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