India’s Defence Export Surpasses Rs 13,000 Crore Mark

Defence Industry

New Delhi: In a boost to indigenous defence industry, Indian defence exports  surpassed the Rs 13,000 crore mark, with a new record expected this fiscal year due to increased demand in Europe and government efforts to engage partners such as Armenia, which is looking for reliable suppliers.

According to Stockholm-based  SIPRI, India continues to be the world’s largest importer of arms, but purchases from foreign vendors fell by 11 per cent between 2013-17 and 2018-22. This figure is likely to fall further as India has drastically reduced its import options, instead relying on awarding contracts to domestic firms.

According to the most recent data available from the defence ministry, the total export value of defence goods was Rs 13,399 crore as of the first week of March. The figure could rise further as deals are signed up until the end of the fiscal year.

This would surpass the Rs 12,815 crore earned last year in terms of arms sales to foreign nations in 2022-23. Exports of arms fell from a high of Rs 10,746 crore in 2018-19. According to industry insiders, queries and orders have been coming in from all over the world, but Europe has seen a significant increase in demand due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“Major defence equipment exported over the last five years has included weapon simulators, tear gas launchers, torpedo loading mechanisms, alarm monitoring and control, night vision monocular and binocular, lightweight torpedo and fire control systems, armoured protection vehicle, weapons locating radar, HF radio and coastal surveillance radar,” parliament was told.

A slew of export orders signed with Armenia, including Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers, artillery guns and a variety of ammunition, has helped to shore up numbers this year.

According to officials, India currently exports weapons to over 80 countries, with the United States being a major customer. Significant exports are made by Indian companies that have received orders from US defence majors to supply parts for platforms such as the F-16 fighter jet, the Chinook and Apache helicopters and others.

The government has set a target of Rs 1,75,000 crore in defence manufacturing by 2024-25, including Rs 35,000 crore in exports. According to current estimates, the defence manufacturing value for 2022-23 will likely exceed Rs 1 lakh crore.