Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

India Aims To Achieve The Target Of $5 Billion Of Arms Export By 2025

February 14, 2023
Glimpses of the 14th edition of Aero India 2023, in Bengaluru on February 13, 2023

After inaugurating the 14th edition of Aero India at the Yelahanka Air Force station complex on the outskirts of Bengaluru, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India has “rejuvenated” its defence production sector in the last eight-nine years and is looking at increasing the export of military hardware from $1.5 billion to $5 billion by 2024-25. He also highlighted that India is now exporting arms and ammunitions to 75 countries.

Though India remained the world’s largest importer between 2017-21 along with Saudi Arabia, accounting for 11% of total global import, it was lower than 14% in 2012-16. In 2020, India was the world’s largest arms importer in value terms with a total import bill of $2.8 billion. Russia commanded 46% share of India’s total arms import between 2017-21 with France (27%) and the US (12%) following in second and third places.

Modi while showcasing India as an attractive destination for investment in the defence manufacturing sector said, the country will move towards becoming one of the leading exporters of military hardware globally backed by favourable economic policies.

“From here India will take rapid strides to be included among the largest defence manufacturing countries and our private sector and investors will play a big role in that”, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister called upon the private sector to invest in the defence sector which will create new opportunities for them in India and in many other countries.

In the five-day aerospace exhibition, billed the largest in Asia, 700 Indian and foreign defence companies are participating besides delegates from around 100 countries, including several defence ministers as well.

The Prime Minister said that India’s successes are bearing witness to its capabilities. He highlighted the Tejas (Light Combat Aircraft) and INS Vikrant (aircraft carrier) projects, which started decades ago, as India coming of age in indigenous defence manufacturing. He said it will offer the world new alternatives and opportunities.

The Prime Minister said where there is demand, expertise as well experience, Industry growth is natural. He assured the gathering that efforts to strengthen the sector will keep going forward even stronger. The Prime Minister said the “deafening roar” of Aero India also has the echo of India’s mantra of “Reform, Perform and Transform”.

“Where there is demand, capability and experience, the natural principle says that there the industry will grow day by day. I assure you that the process of strengthening the defence sector in India will move forward at an even faster pace,” Modi said.

Girja Shankar Kaura

The writer is a Delhi-based freelance journalist, who has reported and written on a wide range of subjects in an extensive career.