On August 9, the Indian Defence ministry announced an embargo on imports of 101 items of military equipment. This is an effort to boost indigenous production and improve self-reliance in weapons manufacturing.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh said in a tweet, “Our aim is to appraise the Indian defence industry about the anticipated requirements of the Armed Forces so that they are better prepared to realize the goal of indigenization.” He added, “This is a big step towards self-reliance in defence.”

Indigenous development of 108 equipment

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) provided a list of 108 systems and sub-systems to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday which have been identified for indigenous development exclusively.

DRDO will also provide its support to industries in this development process, according to the Defence Minister’s office. The RMO also said that this will “pave the way for Indian Defence industry to develop many technologies towards building an AtmaNirbhar Bharat. Raksha mantri has extended his good wishes to Team DRDO in their future endeavours.”
The systems and sub-systems in the list of 108 items include mini and micro UAVs, ROVs, uncooled NV-IR sights for weapons (short-range), mountain footbridge, floating bridge (both metallic), mines laying and marking equipment.

The 101 emabrgo

Earlier in August, the announcement was made in order to boost India’s indigenous defence production. India also aims to increase its export figures by reducing the number of its defence imports. The Defence Ministry said almost 260 schemes for such items were contracted by the Tri-Services at an approximate cost of Rs 3.5 lakh crore between April 2015 and August 2020. 

The Centre said that the list of items includes high technology weapon systems like “artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, light combat helicopters, radars and many other items.”

Details of 108 items for indigenous development

The list of items to ingeniously developed includes mini and micro UAVs, missile canisters, marine rocket launchers and satellite navigation receivers. Apart from these, armoured Engineering reconnaissance vehicle (AERV), Anti-terrorist vehicle, multispectral camouflage net, bulletproof vehicle, TR modules, among others, are also included in the list.

Earlier this month, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) MK I A, Land-Attack Cruise Missiles (Long-Range),155 mm Artillery Ammunition were put among the list of the 101 items that have been put under an import embargo by the Ministry of Defence.

DRDO chief Satheesh Reddy told the media, “This initiative will pave the way for Indian defence industry to develop many technologies towards building an ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’. DRDO will provide support to industries for the design, development and testing of these systems,” said an MoD official. “Collaborating with DRDO in the development of major weapon systems, the Indian industry has matured to a stage where they can develop systems on their own. The current industry base for DRDO consists of 1,800 MSMEs along with defence PSUs, ordnance factories and industries,” he said.

India has a target to increase its defence exports to $ 5 billion within five years. The import embargo will come into effect on these items in a phased manner. The deadline had been set for December 2025.