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Rise in indigenous production in defence sector: A K Antony

NEW DELHI (PTI): Noting that there has been a rise in indigenous production in defence platforms, equipment and ammunition, Defence Minister A K Antony Wednesday said the government's first priority is to reduce dependence on foreign players in supply of these items.

"In the past, we were producing only 30 per cent of our equipment. Now we are producing 40 per cent of platforms, equipment and ammunition of our total defence supply...In many areas, India is producing state-of-the-art weapons. We are improving but we have to go a long way. Do not expect miracles," he told the Rajya Sabha during Question Hour.

Replying to supplementaries, Antony said while in past the defence sector was exclusively reserved for public sector, "We are now giving more space to the Indian private sector."

"Our first priority is to reduce the dependence on foreign players. All our defence PSUs are in the process of modernisation. We will be able to increase our indigenous products substantially," Antony said, adding the government has taken policy initiatives to promote indigenous production of defence equipment.

"The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) provide for "Make" category of indigenous research, design, development and production systems, which include high technology complex systems. A new category of "Buy and Make (Indian)" has been included in the DPP in order to encourage participation of Indian industry," the minister said in his written reply.

Replying to a question whether most of the three wings of the Indian armed force have become outdated, Antony said defence forces in all the countries including India have three types of arms - state-of-the-art, current and obsolete.

He said the process of phasing out the arms and equipment is continuing in the armed forces and referred to induction of Arjun M-1 tanks in the Indian Army.

He said the order for 124 more such tanks have also been placed and added that the Initial Operational clearance for Light Combat Aircrafts has also been given.

"The holding of arms and ammunition by the Defence Forces is reviewed and updated on a regular basis as per the laid down procedures by taking into account technical changes, operational imperatives and threat perceptions. Modernisation of defence forces is the prime concern of the government and it is an on-going process," he said.

Replying to another supplementary, he said Russia was the biggest arms supplier for the country and Israel was another important supplier.


India  Army  Indigenous  

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