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India Looks to Accelerate Growth of Indigenous A&D Ecosystem

India Looks to Accelerate Growth of Indigenous A&D Ecosystem

Atul Chandra - : Feb 13, 2023 - : 1:40 am

India’s biennial airshow, Aero India underway in Bengaluru provides an insight into the growth of the nation’s indigenous Aerospace & Defence (A&D) industry in recent years.

The theme for the latest edition of the air show this year is ‘The runway to a billion opportunities.’ The growing focus on indigenously developed defence platforms continues with Aero India and according to India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), “the events have been restructured with focus on increasing defence exports and forging partnerships rather than merely import of weapons/equipment.

In an indication of the opportunities available as in the Indian A&D ecosystem, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has indicated that Rs 750 billion (approximately US$ 9 billion) worth of MoUs will be inked at the show. The 14th edition of the airshow has over 800 participating companies.  

The Defence Ministers of 32 countries, Air Chiefs of 29 countries and 73 CEOs of global and Indian OEMs will also attend the event. Speaking prior to the start of the airshow, India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, termed the record international participation as a reflection of not just India’s buyer-seller ties with different countries, but also their shared vision of global prosperity.

Major exhibitors this year, include Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Israel Aerospace Industry, BrahMos Aerospace, Army Aviation, HC Robotics, SAAB, Safran, Rolls Royce, Larsen & Toubro, Bharat Forge Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and BEML Limited.

Aero India is also the venue for the Defence Ministers’ Conclave which is being organised on the theme ‘Shared Prosperity through Enhanced Engagements in Defence (SPEED). The conclave will address aspects related to deepen cooperation for capacity building (through investments, R&D, joint venture, co-development, co-production and provisioning of defence equipment), training, space, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and maritime security to grow together.

Aero India will also feature an ‘India Pavilion’, based on a ‘Fixed Wing Platform’ theme. A total of 115 companies are displaying 227 products at the pavilion, which also features a full scale Tejas fighter jet in Final Operational Clearance (FOC) configuration. HAL is now working on the production of 83 Tejas Mk-1A aircraft ordered in February 2021 in a contract worth approximately Rupees 457 billion.

With a strong focus now on the procurement of homegrown defence equipment as also that which is manufactured under license from foreign OEMs in India, the MoD has announced a series of procurement decisions. In January, India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which is headed by Defence Minister Singh, approved the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for three capital acquisition proposals, amounting to Rupees 42.7 billion.

In December 2022, AoNs were granted for 24 capital acquisition proposals – six each for the army and air force, 10 for navy and two for Indian Coast Guard (ICG). These procurements will have a total value of Rupees 843 billion. As per India’s MoD, 21 proposals, worth Rs 82,127 crore (97.4%) approved for procurement would be from indigenous sources.


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