India Targets Self Reliance in Defence

India has set a target to achieve a turnover of Rs 1.75 lakh crore ($25 billion) including export of Rs 35,000 Crore ($ 5 billion) in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2025.

This is part of the draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP 2020) announced on Monday.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced the draft policy through a tweet on Monday. “In order to provide impetus to self-reliance in Defence manufacturing and to position India amongst the leading countries of the world in Defence and Aerospace sectors, a draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 (DPEPP 2020) has been formulated,” he said.

In implementing such framework and to position India amongst the leading countries of the world in defence and aerospace sectors, Ministry of Defence (MoD) has formulated a draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 (DPEPP 2020).

The DPEPP 2020 is envisaged as overarching guiding document of MoD to provide a focused, structured and significant thrust to defence production capabilities of the country for self-reliance and exports.

The policy proposes to develop a dynamic, robust and competitive defence industry, including aerospace and naval shipbuilding industry to cater to the needs of armed forces with quality products.

It also seeks to reduce dependence on imports and take forward “Make in India” initiatives through domestic design and development. The policy’s aim is to promote the export of defence products and become part of the global defence value chains.

It emphasizes the creation of an environment that encourages R&D, rewards innovation, creates Indian IP ownership and promotes a robust and self-reliant defence industry.

The policy brings out multiple strategies under the focus areas of procurement reforms, indigenization and support to MSMEs/startups, optimize resource allocation, investment promotion, FDI and Ease of Doing business, innovation and R&D, DPSUs and OFB, quality assurance and testing infrastructure and export promotion.

The vision as stated in the policy is “To make India amongst the leading countries of the world in Defence sector, including Aerospace and Naval Shipbuilding sectors, from design to production, with active participation of public and private sector and thus fulfilling the twin objectives of self-reliance and exports”.

Negative list of weapons

To expand the domestic defence manufacturing ecosystem, a negative list of weapons and platforms would be notified with year-wise timelines for placing an embargo on the import of such items from those dates.

Leh: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, witnesses para dropping and scoping weapons at Stankna near Leh on July 17, 2020. (Photo: IANS)

As per the draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP 2020) announced on Monday, this list would be updated periodically, without compromising on the operational requirements of the Services, to allow lead-time to industry to prepare itself for any such procurement which is likely to come up, subsequent to the indicated embargo date.

The policy proposes a Technology Assessment Cell (TAC) in coordination with the services, which would assess the industrial capability for design, development and production including re-engineering for production of various major systems like armoured vehicles, submarines, fighter aircraft, helicopters, radars with the major industries in the country.

A Project Management Unit (PMU), with representation from the Services, would be set up to support the acquisition process and facilitate the management of the contracts. This setup would bring in expertise to the process of acquisition as well as create focus and synergy in building military capabilities.

With self- reliance as the motto, the aim is to move away from licensed production to Design, Develop and produce wherein the Nation owns the Design Rights and IP of the systems.

“Our Armed forces have over the years acquired a range of platforms from diverse sources leading to a buildup of spares and consumables which has resulted in sub-optimal planning and resource allocation. Efforts would be made to adopt a family of weapons approach to standardize and optimize inventory and supply chain management,” the policy said.

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