Dependence on defence imports risky for India, say experts

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by JAYRAM, Mar 21, 2012.


    JAYRAM 2 STRIKE CORPS Senior Member

    Mar 8, 2011
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    North Frontier, The Mighty Himalaya's
    Published March 18, 2012


    As much as 70 percent dependence on imports for weapons and other defence equipment even 65 years after independence is a risky proposition for India and the defence offset clause is expected to increase indigenisation of the country’s arms need, was the unanimous view of participants at a seminar on Saturday.

    The speakers also expressed reservations about theDefence Offsets Facilitation Agency (DOFA) playing the dual role of regulator as well as the facilitating agency. Defence offsets means compulsory local sourcing of components by the supplier of defence equipment.

    “The total offset opportunity in India is expected to surpass $12 billion over the next ten years mainly driven by increasing defence spend which is expected to touch $44 billion in 2016. Defence aerospace sector will see more offset opportunity than commercial segment,” said V. Narasimhan, executive director, Brakes India Ltd at the seminar on ‘Indigenisation and Offset Opportunities’ (Indian Air Force-Industry Meet) organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

    According to him, over the next decade there will be significant joint venture opportunity in the Indian aerospace industry and companies entering early will benefit from future growth potential.

    Addressing the gathering, Air Marshal J. Chandra, air officer commanding-in-chief (Maintenance Command) said: “Strategic self reliance is a key result area for defence sector in the years to come.”

    He said the Indian private sector can look at areas like reclamation of parts, training, designing of distance learning packages and other areas.

    Reclamation of parts is the study of aircraft part ageing and measures to extend their life. Equipment suppliers would advance replacement of parts after specified years for commercial reasons as well, Chandra said.

    Stressing that technology denial is a potent weapon in the hands of nations like the technology itself Rajinder Singh Bhatia, executive vice president and ceo (Defence and Aerospace) Bharat Forge Ltd said: “The only alternative is to develop the needed technology within. The self reliance index of India’s defence needs is just 0.3.”

    He said though offsets have costs attached to it there are advantages like the development of defence industrial base in the country.

    Urging a paradigm shift in defence production in India, Bhatia said India has excellent policies but these are not implemented; urgency overtakes essentials and the achievement of development/production goals are not time bound.

    He said the DOFA should not play the dual role of regulator and the facilitating agency for vendors of defence equipments as there is clearly a conflict of interest.

    Bhatia urged inclusion of private industry officials in the DOFA panel.

    Dependence on defence imports risky for India, say experts |

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