Ramping up defence ties, it is nice that India and Russia announced deals worth about Rs 43,000 crores for purchase of state-of-art Russian air defence systems. Even in the past, India and Russia had decided to expand cooperation across various sectors as they signed 16 pacts, including deals on joint manufacture of 226 military helicopters and construction of 12 atomic plants with involvement of local companies in India. India and Russia also took forward a project to jointly manufacture military choppers under the ‘Make in India’ initiative even as other plans, including one to construct frigates. Russia is one of India’s oldest and most trusted defence partners. Today up to 70% of India’s navy and up to 80% of India’s air force is of Russian-made. India’s increasing industrial strength has now prompted it to pursue this deal. It would be nice to further accelerate our partnership with one of the world’s fastest growing economies. India needs large number of helicopters both for military and civilian purposes. Ka-226T Helicopter will strengthen the Indian Air force .
India has the capacity and strength to become a manufacturing hub. It must emerge as the best destination for manufacturing in the world. We have the reputation of the largest importer of defence equipment. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India needs to increase defence preparedness as it has huge requirements to manage internal security. It is to be remembered that to improve the acquisition and approval process we need to ensure that our technology does not fall into the wrong hands. If India’s defence industry becomes strong it will boost country’s security and will, add 200,000 skilled personnel in 10 years.
Vinod C. Dixit
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)