Citing the induction of the indigenously-built Tejas light combat aircraft, light combat helicopters and aircraft carrier INS Vikrant into the Indian armed forces, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Wednesday that decisions to induct ‘Make in India’ products were not because of “political will”, but due to the “courage” shown by the leadership of the armed forces.
“Change is happening very quickly. There was a time in this country when pigeons used to be released. Now we have the power to release cheetahs,” Modi said in his inaugural address at the DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar.
The ‘Fourth Positive Indigenisation List’ of 101 items announced by the Prime Minister includes next generation frigates, surface-to-surface missile Pralay and ship-borne unmanned aerial systems.
The Ministry of Defence said it will facilitate a conducive environment and render all possible support to the industry to ensure that the timelines mentioned in the ‘Fourth Positive Indigenisation List’ are met.
Items in the list with effect from December 2022 are next generation frigates, mobile disaster relief equipment for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations, and remote embedded systems support for naval ships.
Nine items with effect from December 2023 include ILMEN-GUVK gyro system for Kamov helicopters, full motion simulator for LCA, bulletproof security vehicle for IAF, and 76.2 mm high explosive plugged cartridges for naval applications.
Effective December 2024, the items include fleet support ship for Navy, mine countermeasure vessel, naval hospital ship, main and nose wheels for Jaguar, IL-76, IL-78, LCA, MiG-29, Mi-17 and batteries for AWACS and Hawk aircraft.
All items included in the list will be procured from indigenous sources as per provisions in the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 and will provide “continuous impetus towards self-reliance in defence”.
The Ministry of Defence had earlier promulgated three such indigenisation lists which comprised 310 items. These lists were made public in August 2020, May 2021 and April 2022.
Of the 101 items in the fourth list, 75 items are to be indigenised between 2025 and 2032. These include long range UAV (HALE), medium range reconnaissance aircraft, long range anti-ship missile for ships, 30 mm naval surface guns, shipborne unmanned aerial system, automatic missile detection radar for ships, landing platform dock and surface-to-surface missile Pralay.
Via virtual mode Wednesday, the Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for a new IAF air base at Deesa in north Gujarat.
“The construction of Deesa airfield is a big achievement for the security of the country and development of the region. Deesa is just 130 km from the international border. If our forces, especially the IAF, is at Deesa, then we can give a befitting reply to any recklessness on the western border,” he said.
The Gujarat government, he said, had given land for the airfield way back in 2000. “When I was Chief Minister here, I used to constantly impress upon the then government at the Centre about the importance of the airfield. Nothing happened (during UPA rule). The files (on the project) were left in such a way that even after I reached the (PMO), it took time to set things right,” he said.
The Prime Minister, in his address, praised the defence forces for buying Indian products.
“About 68 percent of India’s defence budget has been earmarked for Indian companies. In other words, the budget will be used to buy products made by people of the country. This is a big decision and it has happened because of the courage shown by the leadership of the defence forces. These are not decisions that happen because of political will. These decisions happen as per the will of the defence forces. I am proud that I have such officers in the defence forces.”
“Our forces have decided that maximum equipment needed for the country’s security will be bought within the country. The defence forces have created two lists of equipment. One is a list of equipment bought in the country and the second list is of equipment that will be bought overseas if very necessary,” he said.