Why India is poor at making its own weapons

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by LETHALFORCE, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Why India is poor at making its own weapons - Hindustan Times


    No government agency talks more about indigenisation and self-reliance than the ministry of defence and has a worse record to show for it. India earned a top ranking in the latest international arms transfer report of the Swedish think tank, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute,


    as the world's largest arms importer.

    It is a position, says retired Vice-Admiral Premvir Das, India will hold for years to come because its armed forces need to buy $ 40 - 50 billion in capital equipment.

    There are two broad reasons why India fails so miserably to become more self-reliant in arms production.

    One is a superstructure of inefficiency that is held in place by corruption and inertia. The Tatra truck deal has long been a byword in arms procurement incompetence. Over 25 years, the Indian army bought 7000 trucks from the Czech Republic at roughly double the cost they are sold in their home country. The indigenisation rate was so poor the trucks do not have right-hand drive to this day. General VK Singh's claim he was offered Rs 140 million to keep India buying Tatras would explain why this absurd state of affairs existed for as long as it did.

    India has a reputation in the international arms industry for importing substandard equipment at inflated prices. As the SIPRI report points out, measured over a five-year period, Russia has remained India’s largest weapons supplier. But Russia’s comparative advantage in military sales is partly an ability to give huge kickbacks. The Russian Accounting Chamber, its CAG equivalent, in 2001 noted that the umbrella arms exporting firm, Rosoboroneksport, kept such convoluted finances it could not understand them. Trade experts privately say Indian middlemen in Moscow sales get 10 to 15% of the contract and 5%, curiously, has to be paid to the Russian government.

    The second reason is the nexus between the mandarins of the defence ministry and the state-owned arms companies that keeps private Indian firms at arm’s length. As defence ministry officials privately admit, institutions like the Defence Research and Development Organisation and Hindustan Aeronautics prefer to import foreign-made weapons rather than allow the Tatas and Mahindras to get a real share of the contracts. Their fear: the competence of the private sector will marginalise them.

    Even the official defence indigenisation figure of 30% being Made in India is a myth says retired Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal of the Combat Land Warfare School. “Ten to 12 percentage points of that is screwdriver usage – importing kits, assembling them and giving the smallest value addition.”
     
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  3. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Rosboronexport should be blacklisted immediately. All Russian deals cancelled and kick their butts to the curb. :lol:
     
  4. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    I don't think the author of this article has any clue of how to weapon indigenisation.

    It is not about privatization. Even you bring TATA or whatever private companies into this industry, they will still produce crap and even worse than your current domestic producers in a long period, simply because they don't have any military production experience and related equipments at all. They have to start from scratch.

    I think 3 things mostly important:
    1. Burning the money
    2. Keep burning the money after failure so your scientists can accumulate their knowledge and experience
    3. Force your army to live with those craps produced by your domestic suppliers so your army and weapon developers can finally figure out how to carry out any weapon development together.
     
  5. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Yes, we know China lives with its craps produced by domestic suppliers. It does not make it the best way. There are plenty of countries that have managed a respectable indigenousation without producing crap.
     
  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Well, at least PRC does a better job than India when it comes to reverse engineering. It may be unethical, but then, the counter argument is 'all's fair in love and war.'
     
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