India aims to be a net exporter of defence equipment. India has set a target of US$ 5 billion worth of exports. India managed to double the value of exports between FY2018 and FY2019, from Rs. 4,682 crore to Rs. 10,745 crore.
Under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat, India is growing in its capabilities of manufacturing wide variety of Defence platforms and missiles. ‘Akash’ is one of the country’s important missile systems with over 96 percent indigenisation. Akash is a Surface to Air Missile with a range of 25 Kms. The missile was inducted in 2014 by the Indian Air Force and in 2015 by Indian Army.
After its induction in the Services, interest was shown in Akash missile system by many friendly countries during the International Exhibitions/Def Expo/Aero India. The Cabinet approval will facilitate Indian manufactures to participate in RFI/RFP issued by various countries.
So far, Indian defence exports included parts/components etc. The export of big platforms was minimal. This initiative of the Cabinet would help the country to improve its defence products and make them globally competitive.
The export version of Akash will be different from System currently deployed by the Indian Armed Forces.
Besides Akash, keen interest has been received from various countries in other major platforms like Coastal Surveillance System, Radars and Air platforms. To provide faster approvals for export of such platforms, a Committee comprising of Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister), External Affairs Minister and National Security Advisor has been created.
This Committee would authorise subsequent exports of major indigenous platforms to various countries. The Committee would also explore various available options including the Government-to-Government route.
Government of India intends to focus on exporting high value defence platforms, to achieve target of US$ 5 Billion of defence export and improve strategic relations with friendly foreign countries.
As the government had opened up the defence sector for both public and private enterprises can now chip in with investments and technology. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a contract with public sector enterprise, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for procurement of 10 Lynx U2 Fire Control systems for frontline warships of Indian Navy at a cost of Rs. 1,355 crore under ‘Buy Indian’ category in New Delhi. The Lynx system has been designed and developed indigenously; this would further the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The LYNX U2 GFCS is a Naval Gun Fire Control System designed to acquire, track and engage targets amidst sea clutter. It is capable of accurately tracking air/surface targets, generating required target data for predicting weapon aiming points and engaging target. The target engagement is carried out with the medium/short range gun mounts like Russian AK176, A190 and AK630 and the SRGM available on-board ships.
The Gun Fire Control System has been designed with an open and scalable architecture permitting simple and flexible implementation in many different configurations. The system has been developed and delivered to Indian Navy and has been in service for over two decades, satisfactorily meeting the tactical requirements of Indian Naval ships of various classes like destroyers, frigates, missile boats, corvettes, etc.
The system has been upgraded continuously and indigenisation has been the major focus along with technology upgrades. The indigenous content of the system has been continuously increased, generation to generation to eliminate the dependency on foreign OEMs. The system will be installed on the NOPV, Talwar and Teg class of ships. The system including the Tracking Radar, Servo and Weapon Control Modules has been completely designed and developed by BEL. The indigenous system will ensure maximum up-time of the system and guarantees excellent Product support throughout its life time.
The system proposed in the contract is of the fourth generation and is a completely indigenised system, developed in the true spirit of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. These will be delivered by BEL, Bengaluru over the next five years.
Script: Padam Singh, AIR: News Analyst