India eyes Rs 3 trillion defence production by 2028-29

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  • Mar 01,24
The Ministry of Defence was allocated Rs 6.21 trillion in the Union Budget 2024-25, which is the highest among the Ministries.
India eyes Rs 3 trillion defence production by 2028-29

The annual defence production is expected to touch Rs 3 lakh crore from Rs 16,000 crore now, and defence exports Rs 50,000 crore by 2028-29, stated the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, while insisting that the new-found thrust is a result of the government’s focus on long-term gains to make India a developed nation by 2047.

“Earlier, India was known to be an arms importer. But today, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, we have come out of our comfort zone and found a place in the list of top-25 arms exporter nations. Seven-eight years ago, defence exports did not even touch Rs 1,000 crore. Today, it has touched Rs 16,000 crore. By 2028-29, annual defence production is expected to touch Rs 3 lakh crore and defence exports Rs 50,000 crore,” said Rajnath Singh.

Capital acquisition
In the Financial Year 2023-24, capital acquisition worth more than Rs 435,000 crore has been given in-principle approval till now. The Ministry of Defence was allocated Rs 6.21 trillion in the Union Budget 2024-25, which is the highest among the Ministries.

In February 2024, the Cabinet Committee on Security approved several major defence deals, collectively worth over Rs 92,000 crore, to bolster the combat capabilities of the armed forces. These investments are part of India's broader strategy to enhance its defence capabilities and promote self-reliance in defence manufacturing. The recent approvals build upon India's existing defence infrastructure and partnerships, particularly in the realm of missile technology.

IAF's Sukhoi fighter jet upgrades: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), supported by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has secured approval from the defence ministry for a major upgrade of the Su-30MKI fighter jet fleet. This Rs 60,000 crore project aims to bolster the aircraft's capabilities through the integration of new radars, mission control systems, electronic warfare capabilities, and weapon systems.

Killer drones and supersonic missiles: One of the most significant contracts approved is for the acquisition of over 220 extended-range BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles. These missiles, with a strike range of 450 km, will be deployed on frontline warships of the Indian Navy. This deal, valued at approximately Rs 19,500 crore, marks the largest-ever contract for the BrahMos missiles. 

Advanced engines for fighter jets: In addition to the BrahMos deal, the Indian government also greenlit a project for the manufacture of new advanced engines for the existing fleet of MiG-29 fighters in the Indian Air Force (IAF). The engines, to be produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in collaboration with Russia, will cost about Rs 5,300 crore.

High-powered radars and air defence guns: To further enhance India's defence capabilities, the government approved two other projects for the acquisition of high-powered radars and new versions of the L-70 air defence guns. Larsen and Toubro (L&T) will manufacture these systems with some foreign technology, with each project valued at around Rs 6,000 crore. The Indian Air Force will procure new radars to replace and augment the existing chain of radars along both borders. This move aims to strengthen India's radar coverage in strategic areas. The Cabinet Committee has also approved the ambitious Made in India Close-in Weapon System project, valued at around Rs 7,000 crore. This system, based on a derivative of air defence guns, will provide enhanced protection to vital assets and points against potential attacks by drones and aircraft.

Other defence deals: HAL will manufacture new advanced engines for existing MiG-29 fighters in IAF fleet, in collaboration with Russia, for about Rs 5,300 crore. L&T will manufacture high-powered radars and new versions of the L-70 air defence guns, each deal valued at almost Rs 5,000 crore.

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