MoD notifies import ban on 108 defence items: adds to 101 items notified last August - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Monday 31 May 2021

MoD notifies import ban on 108 defence items: adds to 101 items notified last August

“Second positive indigenisation list” supplements 101 items notified last August


By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 1st June 21


The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on Monday a “Positive Indigenisation List” of 108 items of defence equipment that must be compulsorily procured from indigenous sources as per provisions given in Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020. 


This list includes 49 items that will be banned for import after December this year; 21 that cannot be imported after end-2022; 17 that will be banned for import after December 2023; 13 after December 2024; and eight that will have to be procured indigenously after December 2025.


This list supplements an earlier import embargo on 101 defence items that was announced last August.


“The ‘Second Positive Indigenisation List’ comprises complex systems, sensors, simulator, weapons and ammunitions like helicopters, next-generation corvettes, airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) systems, tank engines, medium power radar for mountains, medium range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) weapon systems and many more such items to fulfil the requirements of Indian armed forces,” stated an MoD release on Monday.


“The list lays special focus on weapons/systems which are currently under development /trials (in India) and are likely to translate into firm orders in the future. Like the first list, import substitution of ammunition, which is a recurring requirement, has been given special focus,” said the MoD.


“This second list has been prepared by MoD after several rounds of consultations with government and private manufacturing industry confederations to assess future capabilities of Indian industry, which will be able to meet requirements of the Armed Forces. This list provides continuous impetus towards self-reliance in defence,” the MoD stated.


“Not only does the list recognise the potential of local defence industry, it will also invigorate impetus to domestic research and development by attracting fresh investment into technology and manufacturing capabilities,” said the MoD. “It also provides an excellent opportunity for ‘start-ups’, as also MSMEs, which will get tremendous boost from this initiative.”


“Towards this, the MoD, the Defence Research and Development Organisation and service headquarters will take all necessary steps, including hand holding of the industry, to ensure that the timelines mentioned in the ‘second positive indigenisation list’ are met,” said the MoD.

Starting this December, the military will rely exclusively on indigenous vendors for 49 items of defence equipment, including land based, single-engine, light helicopters, next-generation corvettes, mission systems for airborne early warning and control system, helicopter launched anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), warship-grade steel and armoured or mine-protected infantry vehicles.


From December 2022, indigenous defence industry will be required to supply the military’s requirements of 21 categories of defence equipment, including thermal imaging sights for rifles and machine guns, an armoured bulldozer for mechanised and engineer units, a data network for the operations rooms of ships and, crucially, a manpack version of a software defined radio (SDR).


From December 2023, the military must rely on indigenous supply only for mountain-based Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) that operate with automatic electronically scanned arrays (AESA), an upgraded version of the 76 mm naval super-rapid gun mount, video processing cards for the Sukhoi-30MKI fighter and a hand-held version of SDR.


Similarly, a raft of new equipment can be obtained only within the country after December 2024, including: Onboard Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS) for fighter aircraft, starting with the Tejas, a Medium Power Radar (MPR) for mountains; fuel drop tanks for Jaguar and Mirage fighter aircraft and long range glide bombs (250 kg and 450 kg).


Finally, after the end of 2025, there will be no import of Anti-Material Rifles (AMR) and their 14.5 mm Armour Piercing Incendiary ammunition. Indian defence firms would also have the opportunity of supplying, a new 1,000 HP engine for the T-72 tank and new Auxiliary Power Units (APU) for the T-72 and T-90 tanks.


“The defence industry can gainfully utilise this golden opportunity to build robust research and development facilities, capacities and capabilities to meet the futuristic requirements of the Armed Forces,” said the MoD.


The Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) has welcomed the MoD’s announcement. “The list creates long-term business opportunities that will enable  the industry to invest  and  build capacity and capability. The [defence] industry is motivated and stands highly encouraged with the Second Positive List,” said an SIDM press release on Monday.

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