India’s DRDO is accelerating efforts to support local development and production projects such as this Unexploded Ordnance Robot (UXOR) platform

India’s state-run Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has identified more than 100 defence components and technologies that it wants to source “only” from local industry.

The move is linked to the Indian Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) announcement in mid-August that it will ban the import of 101 military products – including artillery, armoured vehicles, destroyers, submarines, and light combat aircraft - to spur the advancement of the country’s defence industrial base.

In an MoD press release on 24 August it said the new DRDO list of “systems and subsystems” features 108 items that the organisation will indigenously design, develop, and produce in collaboration with local industry partners.

The MoD said, “A DRDO delegation met with [Defence Minister] Rajnath Singh today to apprise him about 108 systems and subsystems [that] have been identified for design and development by Indian industry only… This initiative will pave the way for the Indian defence industry to develop many technologies towards building [self-reliance].”

The MoD said that in pursuing the development of the 108 items the DRDO will provide support for local companies through research and development contracts or production orders. The local companies will act as suppliers to the DRDO. The MoD said, “This will allow the DRDO to focus on the design and development of critical and advanced technologies and systems.”

The MoD added that the new initiative is part of a wider push to integrate local firms into DRDO supply chains. Under similar policies, said the MoD, the DRDO had engaged with local firms by “offering its technology at nominal cost and providing free access to its patents”.