Austin wrote:The promise that DRDO keeps making is never realised in most cases which leaves the Defence Forces no other option but to import these equipment.
Mr APJ Abdul Kalam gave the promise of 70 % indigenous equipment by 2005 way back in 1995 and in 2010 we are as far away as we are in 2010.
70%? Irrespective of what Kalam said or did not say, here is what the Indian Air Force operates:
MiG-21, 23, 27, 29, Mirage 2000, Jaguar, Su-30 MKI - fighters
Transports - An32, Il-76, Avro, Boeings and even Embraers (VIP flight)
Helicopters - Mi-8, 17, 25/35, Cheetahs,
SAMs- Pechora, Gecko, OSA
Radars - ST-68/U, THD series, MPRs, LLLWRs etc
I am sure folks here have better lists than the above, but lets just take the above for simplicitys sake.
Just look at any of these segments and consider the R&D cost associated with making even one of these segments 70% wholly indigenous. As things stand, in 2010, with current projects, we can only hope for specific programs and products given a rapid rate of economic growth & which trend is assumed to continue.
Kalam was never given any of the funds or capabilities to achieve such an impossible task by far, forget Kalam, Indian industry as a whole does not have a figs chance of reaching the 70% figure in the timeframe envisaged (1995-2010). It is unlikely to happen in the near future as well, given the manner in which India's defence requirements are rising. There is a new DGIS (Directorate Gen IS) - was it there in 1995, no! Who knows what tomorrow will bring.
Currently, India's stated defence budget is around 17% of its Central allocation / year. Given this 70% indigenization figure, just for one service, India would have to break the bank.
The Navy's so called indigenous figure includes a mix of locally developed, JV and license manufactured & that too over some 4 decades, 40 years and they continue to rely on industries abroad given the realities of indian funding & technological capability.
As things stand, India's local procurement remains substantial bang for buck, compare amounts invested versus production orders received and the advantage gained is clear. The way forward is to continue with investments in local R&D, and where possible, JV's for high value projects so a portion of the investment goes back into India, develops local industry & has local support through the product lifecycle.