NEW DELHI — India has issued its second arms embargo list of 108 weapons, systems and platforms, which the Ministry of Defence describes as its “Second Positive Indigenisation List.” The move is part of India’s effort to achieve self-reliance and promote defense exports.
“The second list lays special focus on weapons/systems which are currently under development/trials and are likely to translate into firm orders in the future,” the MoD said in a statement Monday. “Not only does the list recognise the potential of the local defence industry, but it will also invigorate impetus to domestic Research and Development by attracting fresh investment into technology and manufacturing capabilities.”
This second list is to be progressively implemented from December 2021 to December 2025. It calls for a number of weapons and platforms to be manufactured in India, including next-generation corvettes; single-engine light helicopters; airborne early warning and control systems; medium-power radars for mountainous terrain; land-based, medium-range surface-to-air missile systems; fixed-wing mini-UAVs; helicopter-launched, anti-tank guided missiles; battlefield surveillance radars; anti-materiel rifles; and mine-protected combat vehicles for infantry units.
The majority of items in the second list are subsystems or accessories for weapons and platforms already manufactured in India, and are not big-ticket defense products. They include instant fire detection and suppression systems; individual underwater breathing apparatuses; main switchboard and power distribution systems for ships; steering gear for destroyers and frigates; high-altitude water purification systems; and drop tanks for Jaguar and Mirage 2000 fighters.
The first list of 101 defense items was released by the MoD in August 2020. It included several types of armaments such as artillery guns, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, ammunition, sonars, radars, conventional diesel-electric submarines, communication satellites and shipborne cruise missiles.
“The second positive indigenisation list is another testament of the confidence placed by the government and the Armed Forces on the Industry to deliver cutting-edge defence technology for India’s security requirements,” said Jayant Damadar Patil, who leads India’s largest defense industry association, the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers.
Patil, who is also a director and senior executive vice president for Larsen & Toubro, added that the list creates long-term business opportunities that will enable industry to invest and build capacity and capability.
The MoD plans to appropriate a minimum of $10 billion annually for the purchase of armaments from local defense companies, though it’s unclear for how long.
However, a CEO of a medium-size enterprise, who spoke to Defense News on condition of anonymity, said that “the private players in India are looking for a potential defense contracts list in the future and not a ‘positive list’ because most of these items have been manufactured in India for many years.”