In 5 years, Modi govt approved $57-billion arms purchases

File Photo: India’s prime minister Narendra Modi addressing the 2018 DefExpo in Chennai.

New Delhi: India’s Narendra Modi government has approved procurement proposals worth Rs 4,09,244 crore ($57 billion) since taking office for the first time in May 2014 till September this year.

“The government, in the last five years, that is, from 2014-15 to 2018-19 and in the current year till Sep. 2019, has accorded Acceptance of Necessity to 218 proposals, worth Rs. 4,09,244 Crore approximately, under various categories of Capital procurement, which promotes domestic manufacturing as per Defence Procurement Procedure-2016,” Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said today.

File Photo: India’s minister of state for defence Shripad Naik at a defence event in New Delhi.

Naik was replying to a question from a member of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha), the upper house of Parliament of India under the bicameral system of legislature.

Here are some of the other issues that Naik handled:

ARMS IMPORTS: Here is a chart based on data from the Controller General of Defence Accounts on India’s capital and revenue expenditure on arms procured from foreign sources:

ARMS EXPORT: The major defence equipment exported during the last three years by India to foreign countries are Patrol Vessels, Helicopters, Sonars and Radars, Avionics, Radar Warning Receivers (RWR), Small Arms, Small Caliber Ammunition, Grenades, Telecommunication equipment, Coastal Surveillance, Simulators, Bullet Proof Jackets and Body Armour. Here is another interesting chart on the defence export authorisations for the last 3 years:

DEFENCE CONTRACTS: During last three financial years (2016-17 to 2018-19), India signed 149 capital acquisition contracts to arm the armed forces, of which 58 contracts worth Rs 1,38,727.16 crore ($19.5 billion) and 91 contracts worth about Rs 76,955.73 crore ($10.4 billion) have been placed on foreign vendors and Indian vendors respectively. Russia, USA, Israel, France and United Kingdom are among the top arms suppliers to India in the last three fiscal. Capital procurement of defence equipment is undertaken from various domestic as well as foreign vendors, based on operational requirements of the armed forces, the availability or capacity to produce the equipment in India and abroad, to keep the armed forces in a state of readiness to meet the entire spectrum of security challenges.

DRDO PROJECTS: There are 56 ongoing Mission Mode projects worth Rs 49424.54 crore ($6.9 billion) and 218 ongoing Technology Demonstration (TD) projects worth Rs 13427.45 crore ($1.9 billion). The projects are directed for 100 per cent indigenous production. However, a few projects have collaboration with foreign countries during development phase.

TEJAS EXPORT: India is in a position to export Light Combat Aircraft manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and HAL is making efforts to explore the international market wherever opportunities are available.

NAVAL EXERCISE: The naval exercise ‘MILAN 2020’, hosted by the Indian Navy, is scheduled to be held at Vishakhapatnam in March 2020 in which 41 countries have been invited. The government pursues cooperation initiatives with friendly foreign countries including in the Indian Ocean Region through structured interactions like Staff Talks and Empowered Steering Group. The areas of cooperation include Capacity Building, Marine Domain Awareness, Training, Hydrography, Technical Assistance, and Operational Exercise.

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