Military Might key to Super Power Status, says Arun Jaitley

Making no secret of India’s aspiration for a super power status for which the development of an indigenous defence production base is necessary, defence minister Arun Jaitley has said military power is key to a nation’s rise to super power status.

“Though all the aspects of power constitute a super power, the military power is a key to a nation’s rise to great or Super Power status,” the minister has written in a special feature article.

Expressing concern over the heavy reliance on defence imports, the minister said: “As per a rough analysis, out of our total defence procurement, 40 per cent is indigenous production.”

Naming some platforms that have achieved “significant” indigenisation, Mr Jaitley mentions T-90 Tank (74% indigenisation), infantry combat vehicle (BMP II) (97%), Sukhoi 30 fighter aircraft (58%), Konkurs missile (90%). Some systems, like Akash missile system, Advanced Light Helicopters, Light Combat Aircraft, Pinaka rockets, various types of radars such as Central Acquisition Radar, Weapon Locating Radar, Battlefield Surveillance Radar etc., have more than 50-60% indigenisation, Mr Jaitley wrote.

He added with liberalisation in the licensing regime in last three years, 128 licenses have been issued for manufacturing of various defence items, whereas in the last 14 years before that period, only 214 licenses were issued.

“The policies and initiatives taken in the last three years have started showing results. Three years back, in 2013-14, where only 47.2% of the capital procurement was made from Indian vendors, in the year 2016-17, it has gone up to 60.6%.”

“Gradually, disinvestment in DPSUs is also being pursued to make them more accountable and bring in operational efficiency. In the last three years, the value of production (VoP) of DPSUs and OFB has increased by approximately 28% and productivity by 38%,” the defence minister wrote.

There are 41 ordnance factories, nine defence public sector undertakings, more than 200 private sector license holder companies and a few thousand small, medium and micro enterprises feeding to the large manufacturers and DPSUs. More than 50 defence laboratories of DRDO are also part of the entire eco-system of defence manufacturing in the country.

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Source:- Asian Age

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