BENGALURU: With rising concerns around national security, especially cross-border threats, along with the country’s bid to achieve indigenisation in manufacturing, India is bullish about developing its homegrown defence potential.
According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, India is one of the world’s biggest defence spenders with a total outlay of Rs 5.25 lakh crore, accounting for 13.31 per cent of the total budget and indicating an increase by Rs 46,970 crore over the budget estimates of 2021-22.
These numbers throw open a massive opportunity for several players, including private, and global ones, to participate in building the country’s strategic capabilities.
HAL CMD CB Ananthakrishnan said, “Private players coming to India is not a challenge, but an opportunity for us. We see the private sector as a collaborator. Today, some buzzwords in our industry are self-reliance (Atmanirbhar Bharat), and Make for India and Make for the World. We are confident that there is enough space for other players as well. The common objective should be to catapult India as a global defence manufacturing hub.”
“We are keen to complete the transfer, through tender, rather than getting projects on a nomination basis. We are quite comfortable participating in a tender if it is fruitful... Today, the processes are transparent, and interests of private defence companies and the industry will not affect government policy,” he told TNIE on the sidelines of a conclave, ‘Roadmap for India to become self-reliant in defence and aerospace manufacturing’, at GIM 2022.
He shared that HAL has initiated some major projects, like the Medium-Role Helicopter and AMCA. “We wanted to work with the private industry right from the design stage so that the IPR can be developed within the country. If we synergise our efficiencies, along with entrepreneurial efficiencies of the private sector, to be more agile and aggressive, I expect exciting days ahead,” he added.
Sharing his experience in India, Vincent Panzera, vice-president, International Supply Chain & Industrial Development at US-based Lockheed Martin, said “There’s a rich history between my corporation and Indian industry. In India, there’s unparalleled dedication to managing costs, improving quality and upping the technical competence of this industry, by companies and the government. We are very proud of our partnerships with India.”