By Aritra Banerjee
The Ministry of Defence (Mod) announced a highly productive year for the country’s defence sector in 2022, which saw significant advances in the industry. The Indian Armed Forces have been equipped with state-of-the-art weapons, equipment and technologies in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a youthful, modern, and self-reliant military.
A significant focus of the reforms has been promoting self-reliance in defence manufacturing and technology. The government has been successful in reducing imports and increasing domestic procurements. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) recently approved 24 procurement proposals worth over Rs 84,300 crore, of which 21 recommendations worth over Rs 82,000 crore are to be procured from domestic manufacturers.
India’s defence exports increased significantly between 2017 and 2022, from Rs 4600 crore to Rs 12,800 crore. The value of defence manufacturing rose from Rs 84,600 crores to Rs 94,800 crores between 2021 and 2022. The government has also increased its capital expenditure for defence indigenisation, climbing from 58% to 68% of the authorised amount.
In September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioned the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant, built at the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL). The aircraft carrier has 76% indigenous content and is equipped with state-of-the-art systems and equipment.
The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), designed and developed by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), was formally inducted into the Indian Air Force in October. The LCH is the first indigenous multi-role combat helicopter capable of potent ground attack and aerial combat.
Overall, 2022 has been a testament to India’s drive towards self-reliance in the defence sector, with significant advances being made towards transforming the military into a modern and self-reliant force.