According to the government of India estimates India civil and defense aerospace market is growing fastest in the world, with increasing need for planes, UAV, MRO, and aero components. This in turns provides huge opportunities for investment design, development, and manufacturing in all segments. Several policy initiatives are positively contributing in this, including delicencing, 100% FDI, integration of Indian manufacturing with global supply chains, etc. The Indian defense sector in particular has seen robust growth in recent past. Strong economic growth at 7% per annum coupled with the will to modernize the armed forces is making India become a major defense manufacturing hub. Companies like Thales are working jointly with Indian counterparts through supply chain partnership and transfer of technology in the field of complex electronics, wired mechanical structures, optronic, complex hardware, and software engineering. India particularly is looking for collaborative venture in innovative technologies in the fields of sensors/avionics, aerospace material/stealth, hyper sonics, artificial intelligence/deep learning, in aerospace, propulsion through space, missile, gas turbine, etc., as also UAV/UCAV/stealth.
The government is likely to spend USD 130 billion for defense fleet modernization in next 5–7 years. India plans to produce light combat aircrafts, military helicopters, light combat helicopters, advance light helicopters, etc. in the next 10 years. Navy plans to acquire 24 naval multirole helicopters capable of anti-submarine warfare, while 110 multi role fighter aircrafts are likely to be made under “Make in India” programme. For encouraging participation government is ensuring reduction/ removal of entry barriers; a new liberalised regime is eliminating the need for industrial licencing for sourcing components, parts, subsystems, etc. Two defense industrial corridors in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh solely dedicated for defense manufacturing have also been initiated. Defense investor cell provides all information about investment opportunities, procedures, and regulatory requirements. A regional airport development and regional connectivity scheme with the acronym UDAN aims at developing air transport infrastructure. To attain all this, and more, the government is consciously encouraging establishment of long-term strategic partnership between the Indian private sector and global OEMs for technology transfers, and setting up domestic manufacturing, infrastructure, and supply chains.
Contributed by: K.K. Srivastava
KKS is an academic, author, writer, researcher, and corporate speaker. He writes regularly on Economics, Management, Technology, and others areas.