NEW DELHI: Moving forward with plans to indigenise manufacturing of defence systems and equipment, the Ministry of Defence is in the process of adding more items which will be manufactured in India.

Sanjay Jaju, Additional Secretary, Department of Defence Production, said on Monday while 351 more items have been listed and it is now an opportunity for Indian industries to manufacture them.

“By month end, we will come up with a bigger list and it will include not just components, but also Line Replacement Units (LRUs) which are critical for defence requirements. We will offer these LRUs to industries with procurement assurance to design and develop the products within the county,” he told the virtual ‘MSME Conclave on Indigenisation of Critical Defence Components – Forging Partnerships between FOEM-IOP-MSME’, organized by FICCI and Department of Defence Production.

The government has already identified a list of over 2,500 items which are not going to be imported. Also, the ministry of defence has released a list of 209 items including arms which the country will stop importing in a phased manner.

In December 2020, the ministry notified a fresh list and imposed a ban on imports of 351 sub-systems and components for the armed forces under a staggered timeline, commencing from December 2022.

The listed items will be indigenised in the next three years and the initiative will save foreign exchange approximately equivalent to Rs 3,000 crore every year.

Jaju said in the post-Covid world, there are global strategic alignments taking place, supply chains moving from one country to another, and it is important to diversify the supply chain.

“India has a huge defence aerospace market. We are going to march ahead, and this sector is going to grow at the best rates in the world with huge demand. We have to look at India as the design and manufacturing hub in defence components for global needs.”

Cue For Private Players

Jaju pointed out there is a limit to what the government can do. “It’s now the time for tier 1, 2 and 3 within defence and aerospace sector to start looking at these opportunities and forge partnerships.”