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Recently, several independent outlets reported that the #indianmilitary could be running out of critical weapons and equipment due to imposed restrictions. It was estimated that India would be left critically short of high-performance helicopters by 2026 and combat jets by 2030, amongst other important assets for #nationalsecurity . That claim was further reinforced when, recently, the Indian Army invited the defence industry to offer critical equipment for emergency procurement.

In the two years between August 2020 to August 2022, India promulgated four Positive Indigenisation Lists - defence weapons and equipment, which can not be imported from abroad. With India’s domestic defence industry still nascent, the world’s biggest defence importer isn’t manufacturing enough weapons locally and official rules are blocking imports. Considering that in the last two decades, India has spent close to 54 billion USD on defence related imports, primarily #russianarmy , has India ill-timed its self-reliance mission in the context of global geopolitical realities and the restive borders with China and Pakistan?

That claim may be disputed as India’s efforts to ‘unleash the energy' of the Make-in-India initiative in the defence sector have now begun to show results. In the last five years, India’s defence related exports have grown by a massive 334% and the country now exports to over 75 countries. For the first time, the Indian defence industry now has a global presence as part of the supply chain. The innovation ecosystem developed under the iDEX programme, Make2 and DRDO programmes have garnered global attention. However, India still stands vulnerable during this period of transition, until its domestic industry fully matures as a competent global innovator.

To understand whether “India’s defence import ban is a good move?” eminent experts join Argumentative Indians in a LIVE discussion.


Shekhar Sinha

Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, PVSM, AVSM, NM & Bar, ADC is a former Three star Admiral of the Indian Navy. He is the former Commander in Chief Western Naval Command & former Chief of Integrated Defence Staff. Ashore as a Flag Officer, he served as Flag Officer Naval Aviation, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Air) as well as Controller Personnel Services

Ajai Shukla

Colonel Ajai Shukla (Retired) is a columnist, commentator and journalist who covers regional security issues in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific, military technology and India’s defence economy. He writes articles on defense policy, production and acquisition and currently works as consulting editor with Business Standard

Krzysztof Iwanek

Krzysztof Iwanek is currently the head of the Asia Research Centre at the War Studies University, Warsaw, Poland. He writes for The Diplomat and occasionally for The Interpreter. His main area of interest is contemporary Indian politics and political ideologies. He holds two MA degrees: in History and in South Asian Studies, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies


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