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Defense Production and Make in India

1. The Ministry of Defense has invited proposals from Indian companies to partner with foreign companies to make 6 submarines in India.

2. This shows a step forward towards the “Make in India” in the defense sector.

Why is this significant for India?

1. India has made several classes of warships- INS Ajay, INS Nilgiri, Godavari-class frigates, etc. that prove its capability.

2. But the same has been delayed for conventional submarines as the defense contracts are very complex and may face several implications.

3. India has a shortfall of submarines – only 14 conventional submarines at present and many more submarines are needed by the Indian navy.

4. Most of the submarines of India are very old. So, new submarines are required.

5. This step is going to be an indigenous step in the making of submarines.

6. Indigenous submarine making process needed a push forward and this step will help in becoming proficient in submarines construction, as it is in warships construction.

Which areas need focus?

1. A good military industrial complex is a very complex system that requires radar systems, weapons systems, under-water technologies, etc.

2. Country’s industrial complex has to be able to respond to the demands for these initiatives to become successful.

3. Private participants need to be nurtured well and their demands should be heard.

4. Government should be willing to do the needful investments.

5. Any delays in the process of acquisitions should be minimized.

How to improve participation by foreign companies?

1. Foreign companies realize that India is a very big market. They need to be provided with an attractive model so that they get willing to invest here.

2. A good export market for foreign companies should be provided, if they manufacture their goods in India.

3. Proper discussions, contracts, choice of partners, etc. are important.

4. India must have its own R & D capability that need to be strengthened.

5. There should be a co-development between India and the foreign companies. An exchange of research ideas has to be done.

6. Examples of developing such projects are Brahmos (with Russia), Barak-8 (with Israel), etc.

The process for making more conventional submarines may have been complex and delayed, but India has the capability.