India’s defence industry should focus on cutting-edge technology and world-class products to realise the government's vision of a ‘New India’ that can both meet its own demands and other nations', Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.
Singh also said that the continuously changing global situation has raised the demand for military hardware as nations focus on strengthening their security systems to handle new challenges. He was speaking at the 5th annual meeting of the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers.
By quoting Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) analysis, he said that in 2021, global military spending exceeded USD 2 trillion and in the coming years, Indian military forces will likewise incur significant capital expenditures. This indicates that the need for security around the globe will grow significantly and India should be able to satisfy those demands in terms of both quality and affordability.
According to the Union Minister, the government's recent measures to boost private sector engagement in the defence manufacturing industry have created an "enabling climate" for Indian defence companies.
He also spoke about the measures taken to increase self-reliance in the defence industry, such as the publication of three lists of 310 weapons and systems that cannot be imported, the establishment of a separate budget for purchasing locally made military hardware and the allocation of defence research and development funds for private industry, startups and academia in order to support their initiatives of design and development of military platforms.
"Our defence exports were barely even Rs 1,000 crore seven to eight years ago. They've now passed the Rs 13,000 crore mark. We've set a goal of Rs 1.75 lakh crore in defence output by 2025, which includes Rs 35,000 crore in exports,” the minister said.
He further said, the government is continuously working to improve national security and is well aware of the need for a full proof security system. Only a safe and powerful nation can achieve the heights of success. No matter how wealthy or intelligent a country is, its prosperity is at risk if national security is not maintained. We are concentrating on ensuring national security and economic development to make India one of the world's strongest nations.