Countries across the globe have shown interest in BrahMos Missile which has been jointly developed by India and Russia. The low budget missile which has been developed at the cost of 300 million dollars is among the most efficient state of art missiles developed across the globe. Philippines, South Korea, Algeria, Greece, Malaysia, Thailand, Egypt, Singapore, and Bulgaria are the countries have shown interest in Brahmos missile.
“India has never exported any weapons systems, except armaments ordnance, which is not real defence exports,” said a senior government official. “The government should have intervened to ensure the deal goes through as that would have helped India get a foothold in that country. Also, exports at this level not only boost the economy, it also gives strategic hold in the region,” he added.
Previously, American defense major, Lockheed Martin has announced to manufacture the wings of the F-16 aircraft with Tata Advanced Systems Limited in India. This would give a major boost to Prime Minister’s Make in India initiative. Last year, Lockheed Martin and TASL announced their intent to join hands to produce the F-16 Block 70 in India if the aircraft is selected by the Indian Air Force. The F-16 Block 70 features advanced avionics, proven Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, a modernized cockpit, advanced weapons, conformal fuel tanks, an automatic ground collision avoidance system, an advanced engine and an industry-leading extended structural service life of 12,000 hours.
According to a report by the India today group, Narendra Modi’s Make in India Initiative has saved more than 1 lakh crores in the defence. In the last few years, multiple defence design and manufacturing projects have been operational in India. As developing indigenous capacity and capability in defence sector is indispensable for a nation as big as India, however, being the world’s second largest defence importer, India has been highly dependent on foreign countries to provide advanced weaponry.
Defence Research and development organization or (DRDO) has been leading the indigenization efforts of the Indian defence sector. Multiple projects by the DRDO have been accepted over foreign alternatives. The SR-SAM (short range surface to air missiles) for the Navy (which is expected to cost around Rs. 30,000 Cr ), which is capable of shooting down incoming enemy aircraft and missiles in short range was sought from international manufacturers however after negotiations, government decided to go for an indigenous alternative under make in India initiative from DRDO. Similar demand for SR-SAM for army (estimated to cost around 20,000 Crores) was floated but after DRDO offered its Akash missile with indigenous sensors, the project was accepted.
Other projects in which the government has decided to go for Indigenous alternative against foreign suppliers include Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM), Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), helicopter-launched anti-tank guided missiles and the armored vehicle launched anti-tank missiles for the army.
Efforts by the government in the Make in India Initiative has shown definitive results, this not only saves India’s forex reserves but also helps India reduce its dependency on foreign manufacturers as foreign manufacturers can be unreliable at times of geopolitical tensions. Consequently, focus on Make in India has improved India’s ease of doing business rank from 142nd in 2014 to 77th in 2018 and the Indian economy will start exhibiting its impact in the coming future. Countries showing interest in BrahMos marks the entry of India in the International defence market.