India plans to increase its defense industry threefold

India plans to increase its defense industry threefold

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India plans to let foreign companies own bigger stakes in military defense-focused joint ventures in a renewed attempt to attract more foreign investment and turn the country into a global production spot for military hardware.

The world’s largest arms importer also plans to allow private sector participation in its defense industry, currently dominated by governmental companies working with long delays in product development.

The new Defence Production Policy for 2018, posited this Thursday, has set an ambitious aim of a more than threefold increase in defense industry revenue to 1.7 trillion rupees ($26 billion) by 2025. By then, the defense industry in the South Asian country is expected to rank amongst the top five globally, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

Experts on the matter said India’s vision is challenging, and can only be achieved if the government creates a long-term strategy toward the development of a local defense industry with the active participation of private companies, and it should focus on replacing its almost primitive production policies.

“India’s objectives sound similar to those of South Korea and Turkey which also want to develop their own defense industries. Reality is, there is no room for everybody up there (in the top five),” said Guy Anderson, a London-based defense industry analyst at Jane’s by market researcher IHS Markit.

India was the world’s largest arms, and other military equipment importer in the four years through 2017, making up 12% of globally traded arms, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, which tracks global arms sales. “The tensions between India, on the one side, and Pakistan and China, on the other, are fuelling India’s growing demand for major weapons, which it remains unable to produce itself,” said Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher at SIPRI.

India has over the years purchased billions of dollars of military hardware including fighter jets, warships, aircraft and missiles from its biggest supplier, Russia, as well as the United States, France, and Israel.

The country has been trying to modernize its military to narrow the gap with its belligerent neighbor, China, as well as long-time rival, Pakistan.

The post: India plans to raise foreign ownership in military ventures was originally released by Nikkei Asian Review. Read the full article here.