Indian aerospace and defence companies should build capabilities in design, development, production and testing of products and systems to be part of the global supply chain to tap exports as well as achieve self-reliance in order to bring down the imports in the sector. There is a need to develop niche and advanced defence technologies to stay competitive, said a top defence official.
“Prime Minister is pushing for self-reliance in the defence sector across design, development, manufacturing and testing of products. India has come a long way with improvement in the overall ecosystem. There are 2,000 companies in India which are able to develop and manufacture systems and sub-systems while there are 10,000 companies in the component development, evolved in the last 10-15 years,” Dr G Satheesh Reddy, secretary, Department of Defence and chairman of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said.
Speaking at the fourth edition of Telangana Defence Conclave on Wednesday, he said, India today has achieved self-reliance in the areas such as missiles, radars, sonars, torpedos, electronic warfare systems, airborne early warning and control, and communication systems.
“There is however need to improve capabilities and self-reliance in areas such as aircraft engines. Clusters such as Hyderabad and Bengaluru have done well in the sector and can contribute towards filling the current market gaps,” Reddy added.
Several private companies are taking part in the system and sub-system development in the missile space, playing a key role in Brahmos and Akash missiles, contributing about 85-87% of the system and sub-system requirements, in value terms.
Highlighting the need to bring private sector into large system development, where historically collaborations were only done with defence PSUs, the DRDO chairman said, “DRDO has initiated efforts in this direction.