Defence exports: Underlining that New India was moving ahead with the ”mantra” of Intent, Innovation, and Implementation in the defence sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today declared that his government has set a target of defence exports to the tune of $5 billion (Rs 40000 crores) in the coming months and years.
”Till eight years ago, India was recognised as the world’s largest defence importer. But New India showed intent, showed willpower, and ‘Make in India’ is becoming a success story in the defence sector today,” he said.
Inaugurating DefExpo22 at the Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre in Gandhinagar, Modi noted that India’s defence exports have grown eight times in the last five years. ”We are exporting defence materials and equipment to more than 75 countries of the world. In 2021-22, defence exports from India reached $1.59 billion (Rs 13000 crores),” he added.
The PM, who also laid the foundation stone of the Deesa airfield in Gujarat, said the forward airforce base would add to the security architecture of the country. Noting Deesa’s proximity with the border, he said India now was better prepared to respond to any misadventure on the Western borders.
Underlining the uniqueness of this edition of the defence expo, the PM said “this is the first defence expo where only Indian companies are participating and it features only Made in India equipment.”
The world was relying on India’s technology today because India’s armies have proved their capabilities. The Indian Navy has inducted state-of-the-art aircraft carriers like the INS-Vikrant into its fleet. This engineering giant and colossal masterpiece has been made by Cochin Shipyard Limited with indigenous technology. ‘’The induction of the Prachand Light Combat Helicopters developed under the ‘Make in India’ initiative by the Indian Air Force is a clear example of India’s defence capability,” he said.
Modi highlighted that reliable options were now mushrooming to replace the monopoly that few companies had created in the field of defence supply. “The youth of India has shown the power to break this monopoly in the defence industry and this effort of our youth is for the global good,” he said and underlined that small countries of the world who were left behind in their security due to lack of resources would now reap great benefits from this.
“India sees the defence sector as an infinite sky of opportunities, as positive possibilities,” he said. Speaking on investment opportunities in the defence sector, he informed that India was building two defence corridors in UP and Tamil Nadu and many big companies of the world were coming to invest in India.
He also highlighted the might of the MSMEs in the sector and informed that these big companies would be supported by Indian MSMEs while creating a large network of supply chains behind this investment. “Investments of such scale in this sector will generate huge employment opportunities for the youth in those areas which were not even thought of earlier”, the PM added.
Modi also spoke about space technology, saying it was an example of what security would mean for any strong nation in the future. Various challenges in this area have been reviewed and identified by the three services and the government has to work fast to solve them, he added.
”Mission Defence Space”, he continued, “will not only encourage innovation and strengthen our forces but also provide new and innovative solutions.”