At a time when close to 70 per cent of India’s military hardware requirement is import-dependent and Make in India is being pushed for balancing out this huge gap in import-export ratio, notably, in the last one year, India exported defence equipment to 22 countries, including to the US, the UK, Israel and Russia.
While India exported forging equipment, electronic assemblies, flight control panels to the US, it sold transmitting tubes to the UK and MIG and Sukhoi 30 aircraft spares and services to Russia.
Major exports from India included Cheetal helicopters to Afghanistan, Dhruv helicopters and bulletproof jackets to Nepal, Sukhoi 30 avionics and MIG spares to Malaysia, offshore petrol vessels and ammunition to Mauritius and Jaguar aircraft spares and services to Oman.
Officials at the MoD said that even though the export from India was only to the tune of Rs 669.88 crore in 2014-15, the government has simplified and streamlined the no objection certificate (NoC) processes to encourage Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and private sector companies to apply for export orders.
The Indian domestic defence industry has been lobbying with the MoD to help them explore international markets and also wants to avail the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) labs and other state-run facilities for R&D, testing and making prototypes. Some of the products that Indian firms are eyeing to have a long term international markets for are Airborne Radar systems, missile systems, naval systems, naval ships, armoured protected vehicles and others.
A Defence Export Steering Committee at MoD frames policy and procedural issues related to defence exports, An official said that MoD is constantly working with the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to explore new avenues for export. It is the MEA that maintains a negative list of countries (like Pakistan) for defence exports and its views are factored mandatorily before any export contract is given approval.
?Meanwhile, defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday told parliament that India’s defence exports since 2010 stood at Rs 2,600 crore.