With an aspiring aim of creating an ‘Atmanirbhar’ Defence Sector, India certainly has achieved a lot in the past few years, especially since the year 2016. Well, the records says it all, be it the International Data or the figures provided by the Central Government, one can clearly see the exponential rise in India’s defence exports in the past few years. To put cherry on the top, you will amazed to know in the last couple of years some of those countries had demanded for Indian Weapons & other defence equipment who previously were the customers of the greatest defence manufacturing giant, the United States of America. Now, you can very well imagine how great India must be doing in the defence manufacturing part that we are now able to take away some portions of the defence market share from the only superpower nation!

Well, let us have a look over some of the Verified Records (as per the figures presented by Government of India as well as an International Institute) before moving ahead. Currently, India is exporting defence equipment to around 70 Countries, which is seriously a big deal for us. India has exported defence items worth more than Rs. 38,000 crore in the past 7 years. According to the reports presented by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India is in the list of ‘Top 25 Countries’ in the defence exports. Interestingly, India’s defence imports have shrunken down by 33% and the defence exports have grown up to 237% in past 7 years.

Now, all these records are pointing toward India’s growing power in the defence sector and when the defence exports raises it automatically means that we are able to fulfill most of our needs on our own. As no country in the world will ever start to export without fulfilling its own needs first. Well, the records are enough to suggest that we are becoming self-sufficient in the defence sector and that has always been our aim too. Honourable PM, Shri Narendra Modi Ji has said it on countless occasions that we need to become Atmanirbhar (Self Sufficient) as a nation, be it for defence sector or any other sector, which will benefit the nation. Yes, PM Modi has laid down some special emphasis on becoming self-sufficient in the defence sector, as we all are well aware of the significance of becoming a stronger nation in terms of military power!

Interestingly, the DRDO (Defence Research & Development Organization) as well as HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) has taken the target of becoming ‘Atmanirbhar’ in the defence sector as a challenge and are making us proud each year on several occasions. However, at the current stage we are not very much technologically advanced when it comes to defence manufacturing and therefore we are still dependent over the import of the defence equipment to a very large extent. Ironically, the major defence projects that the DRDO and HAL have gifted to us in the past few years have hugely involved defence imports in order to get those projects completed. Be it the dream project of the first ‘Swadeshi’ Military Aircraft of India – TEJAS or the supersonic cruise missile of India – BrahMos, each time we have collaborated with foreign nations to complete our projects.

Well, this certainly means that defence imports were carried to a great extend in these dream projects and many experts also say that most of the times India only assembles the components and do not carry out defence manufacturing in a complete manner. Now, this is something not very great for our nation as this means that we are overspending on most of our defence projects. Therefore, we need to come up with several facility centers that will manufacture those components, which India often imports in order to manufacture the required defence equipment. The central government, who is already doing great when it comes to our defence sector needs to take a few more significant steps and establish many more ‘Defence Corridors’ across the nation. If our nation becomes a hub of defence manufacturing then not only our own needs will be fulfilled at a lower cost but also the Indian Economy will see a boom with the export of the defence related goods!

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Becoming ‘100% Atmanirbhar’ in defence sector is actually the best option for India in every aspect, as we will not be dependent upon foreign nations for completing our high ambitious projects. Moreover, the economy will not have to face the pressure of the high import cost, thus making our own economy richer & stronger. In addition, we too can carry out export over key defence components and enhance our current export rate, which will in turn make us ‘Economic Superpower!’ Most importantly, becoming 100% Atmanirbhar in defence sector is one of the best ways to a happy & prosperous nation. It is a proven path too; we can learn from the case of the United States of America in order to understand how a nation can achieve its multi-fold targets by becoming a Military Superpower.  

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Written By NEEL PREET – Author of the Books, Voice From The East (2016); Journey With Time Place And Circumstances (2018) & Indian Defence Files (2021).

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