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India exceeds target of local defence purchases in 2021-22

Updated on Apr 20, 2022 11:44 PM IST

The total capital expenditure for 2021-22 stood at ₹1,14,910 crore of which, ₹75,140 crore was spent on local weapons and systems, said a senior official familiar with development. The rest of the money was spent on weapons from foreign sources, the official added, asking not to be named.

India exceeds target of local defence purchases in 2021-22
By, New Delhi

India exceeded its target of indigenous defence purchases in 2021-22 indicating a major boost to the country’s push towards ‘aatmanirbharta (self reliance)’, according to datafrom the defence ministry.

The defence ministry earmarked 64% of the capital acquisition budget for the domestic industry in 2021-22 but it was able to “overachieve this target” and local military purchases accounted for 65.5% of the capital budget, the ministry said in a statement.

The total capital expenditure for 2021-22 stood at 1,14,910 crore of which, 75,140 crore was spent on local weapons and systems, said a senior official familiar with development. The rest of the money was spent on weapons from foreign sources, the official added, asking not to be named.

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The army led the other two services in domestic purchases, accounting for 82.6% of the total procurement under the head, said officials familiar with the matter.

“As per the preliminary expenditure report of March 2022, the ministry has been able to utilise 99.5% of the defence services budget in 2021-22,” the ministry said in the statement.

“We appreciate the endeavour of the defence ministry in increasing the share of domestic industry in the capital procurement budget. It is an important milestone in the journey towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self reliant India). The industry is committed to the ‘Make in India’ initiative in defence production,” said Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) president SP Shukla.

Overall, India has allocated 5.25 lakh crore for military spending in the budget for 2022-23, including a defence services capital acquisition budget of 1.24 lakh crore. The overall budget for 2021-22 was 4.78 lakh crore.

For 2022-23, India has earmarked 84,598 crore -- 68 % of the military’s capital acquisition budget -- for purchasing locally produced weapons and systems, besides setting aside 25% of the defence research and development (R&D) budget for private industry, start-ups and academia.

In a renewed push to ‘atmanirbharta’ in defence, the defence ministry earlier this month published a new list of 101 weapons and systems that will come under a phased import ban over the next five years, with the military hardware sought to be developed locally ranging from light weight tanks, naval utility helicopters and mounted artillery gun systems to medium altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicles, missiles and loitering munitions.

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Releasing the third ‘positive indigenisation list,’ defence minister Rajnath Singh highlighted the pitfalls of operating imported weapons and systems whose software codes could be compromised.

The other military systems and platforms included in the third list are long range beyond-visual-range missiles that can hit targets at 250 km, long range guided bombs, medium range anti-ship missiles (ship launched), submarine-launched cruise missiles (anti-ship), long range reconnaissance and observation systems (Lorros), high endurance autonomous underwater vehicles, weapon locating radars, next generation offshore patrol vessels, anti-radiation missiles, counter-drone systems, rockets, torpedoes and other ammunition.

These weapons and platforms will be indigenised in phases between December 2022 and December 2027, according to the defence ministry. This list came on the back of two similar lists of 101 and 108 weapons and systems released in August 2020 and May 2021, respectively. The third list has taken the combined number of weapons and systems under a phased import ban by India to 310.

According to ministry data shared earlier this month, the domestic industry is set to receive orders worth 2,10,000 crore in the next five years as a result of the third list.

Contracts for 31 projects worth 53,839 crore have been signed by the armed forces since the first and second lists were notified, according to the data.

Also, acceptance of necessity (AoN) for 83 projects worth 1,77,258 crore has been accorded, and cases worth 2,93,741 crore will be taken up in the next five to seven years, the data shows.

Under India’s defence procurement rules, AoN by the defence acquisition council is the first step towards buying military hardware.

The weapons and systems covered in the first two lists include artillery guns, missile destroyers, ship-borne cruise missiles, light combat aircraft, light transport aircraft, long-range land-attack cruise missiles, basic trainer aircraft, multi-barrel rocket launchers, assault rifles, sniper rifles, mini-UAVs, specified types of helicopters, next-generation corvettes, airborne early warning and Control (AEW&C) systems, tank engines and medium-range surface to air missile systems.

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