India banned imports of Helicopters, artillery, light tank, and other 307 major items

Mi-17 helicopter
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Releasing the list, defence minister Rajnath Singh said dependence on foreign suppliers leaves India vulnerable and called upon the private industry to deliver on the requirements of the armed forces, pointing out that now a total of 310 major items were on the import ban list.

Helicopters, light tanks, loitering munition and a range of missiles and ammunition are on the latest ‘no import’ list promulgated by the defence ministry, with timelines declared over the next five years to completely procure them from Indian sources.

Releasing the list, defence minister Rajnath Singh said dependence on foreign suppliers leaves India vulnerable and called upon the private industry to deliver on the requirements of the armed forces, pointing out that now a total of 310 major items were on the import ban list.

“Earlier, defence equipment such as tanks and helicopters were mainly mechanical. It was not possible to control them. But newer defence systems and platforms are electronic and software intensive. They can be controlled or subverted from anywhere,” the minister said.

He referred to the US banning equipment from Chinese company Huawei due to security reasons as an example of self reliance and possible interference from other nations. In the latest list, the ministry has included 101 new items that will be fully purchased from the Indian industry in the next five years.

local shift

He also handed over 30 Transfer of Technology (ToT) agreements to the Indian industry for systems developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). These technologies, which can be produced by the industry, include laser directed energy weapons system, air to air missile warhead, counter drone system and radar warning receivers.

The list of 101 items that will no longer be imported includes several futuristic weapon systems needed by the armed forces. “These weapons and platforms are planned to be indigenised progressively with effect from December 2022 to December 2027. These 101 items will, henceforth, be procured from local sources,” officials said.

Last year, the ministry had issued two similar lists of 101 and 108 weapon systems in August and May respectively. “The spirit behind issuing these three lists comprising 310 defence equipment, slated to be manufactured locally, reflects the growing confidence of the government in the capabilities of the domestic industry that they can supply equipment of international standards to meet the demands of the Armed Forces,” officials said.

He mentioned the domestic production of ammunition as a priority area to ensure a steady supply during conflict situations. Several items on the list pertain to ammunition that was earlier procured from foreign sources. The recent Ukraine-Russia conflict has raised concerns on the supply of ammunition and spares for equipment for the Indian armed forces that rely heavily on Russian origin equipment.

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