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India’s Defence Capabilities Soars; Majority now Indigenous: VK Saraswat

1 month ago
thedialog
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Majority now Indigenous

Picture Source: Pexels.com

Over the past decade under Prime Minister Modi, India’s defence capabilities have significantly increased, with the country now relying on arms imports only for the immediate needs of its armed forces, according to NITI Aayog member VK Saraswat on Wednesday.

Saraswat, who is a former chief of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), stated that currently, 60% of India’s total arms and ammunition are produced domestically. “Indian defence capabilities in the last 10 years have gone up substantially,” he told PTI.

Since Modi’s government came to power in 2014 and was re-elected with a strong majority in 2019, there has been a notable shift towards indigenous production. “India’s complete ecosystem of defence is largely now indigenous. We are dependent on imports only for immediate requirements of the armed forces or something which we do not have technology for,” Saraswat added.

 

He highlighted that major corporate entities like the Adani Group, Tata Group, and L&T are now manufacturing indigenous radar systems and guns. Addressing a recent report from the Swedish think tank SIPRI, Saraswat remarked, “While our arms requirement is going up, the ratio of imports to our overall defence requirement is decreasing, despite a rise in the total value of imports.”

SIPRI reported on March 11 that India remains the world’s largest arms importer, with its imports increasing by 4.7% between 2014-2018 and 2019-2023.

In response to concerns about potential power cuts due to heatwaves in parts of India, Saraswat assured that the country’s installed capacity is adequate to meet power demands. He stated that India’s installed capacity is around 452 gigawatts. “I do not expect major power cuts this summer because of the capacity problem,” he said.