NEW DELHI: By achieving exports of defence equipment and technology worth ₹16,000 crore this year, India has become self-reliant in many defence technologies and exuded confident that existing technological gaps in certain critical and advanced technologies will be overcome in the coming years, said Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy, former Secretary at Department of Defence R&D and Chairman of the Defence Research and Development Organisation of India (DRDO), and scientific adviser to Defence Minister.

He was addressing the gathering at the 10th graduation day of Poojya Doddappa Appa College of Engineering in Kalaburagi on Saturday. Dr. Reddy said that India has achieved export of defence items worth ₹16,000 crore in 2022-23 and this figure is likely to rise to ₹25,000 crore in 2024-25.

Dr. Reddy opined that the development of advanced technologies and systems is the only way to become a world–leading exporter of defence equipment. The future defence manufacturing ecosystem envisaged by the Indian government will encompass defence technologies that will be conceived, designed, developed, tested, and manufactured completely in India.

Claiming that India has the world’s longest Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System, which would be inducted into the armed forces, Dr. Reddy said that very soon India will join the list of key countries in the world in defence products manufacturing and exports.

Over the past few years, India has achieved self-sufficiency in the manufacture of aircraft, army vehicles, missiles, and radars. Gradually, India is moving from importing to exporting defence products.

The country has made great strides, and the academic strengths and technological capabilities have also developed immensely over the last couple of decades. Today, 80% of IITs are not going abroad to work and instead staying back in India, which is very encouraging and crucial for economic development, he said.

Dr. Reddy said that academic institutes must become the hubs for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. Dedicated laboratory spaces must be created in collaboration with research institutes to enable students to get valuable experience.