Defence subsystems for development by private sector
Why in News?
- A list of 108 military subsystems and components have been identified for development by the Indian industry and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will provide support for the process.
- This will allow DRDO to focus on design and development of critical and advanced technologies and systems.
News in Detail
- The DRDO would also provide support to industries for design, development and testing of these systems on requirement basis.
- All the requirements of these systems by research and development establishments, armed forces and other security agencies could be met through development contracts or production orders on suitable Indian industry.
- The development of the subsystems and components would be done over the next couple of years.
Private sector engagements
- The DRDO has been partnering with industry for many years, including the development of full systems like the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) and Pinaka rocket launchers among others.
- Collaborating with DRDO in the development of major weapon systems the Indian industry has matured to a stage where they can develop systems on their own.
- Indian industry has progressed from a ‘build to print’ partner to ‘build to specification’ partner of the DRDO.
- The present industry base for the DRDO consists of 1,800 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) along with Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), ordnance factories and large-scale industries.
- The DRDO already offers its technologies to industry for manufacture at a nominal cost and has been providing free access to its patents.
Negative import list
- The Defence Ministry on August 9 announced 101 defence related items on the negative import list which have to be domestically procured in a phased manner.
- The embargo on imports is planned to be progressively implemented between 2020 to 2024.
- The import embargo on 101 items beyond the given timeline was to boost indigenisation of defence production.
- The government intends to reach a turnover of $25 billion through indigenously manufactured defence products and also expects to export products worth $5 billion.
- The Defence Ministry has also bifurcated the capital procurement budget for 2020-21 between domestic and foreign capital procurement routes.
- A separate budget head has been created with an outlay of nearly ₹52,000 crore for domestic capital procurement in the current financial year.
- The list of 101 embargoed items comprises not just simple parts but also some high technology weapon systems like artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircrafts, LCHs, radars.
- A series of measures were announced by the Finance Ministry in May to promote domestic defence manufacturing as part of the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” initiative.
- These include the negative import list, separate budgetary allocation for domestic procurements, indigenisation of spares and components and raising the FDI cap in defence through automatic route from 49% to 74%.
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