rohitvats wrote:I've asked this of others and may be you can also pitch in - Can you name 10 products from DRDO stable which are available but yet, IA and IAF are importing them from abroad.
Excuse me for butting into this in civvie wear, but this very question underlines the problem. The IA/IAF are not a master surgeon in the middle of a complex operation who just barks out 'scalpel' or 'retractor', for the nurses, analogous to the Indian state organizations, ranging from MoD, DRDO and FinMin, to feed it the tools.
I've heard references to military assertions of the 'our job is to fight, not design toys. Just get us the best stuff to fight with and leave it to us'. That's very myopic. Our military forces assert our independence. Our independence comes from continuously accruing freedoms to build our socio-economic lives, among which is independence in developing the very weapons that keep us independent.
When the armed forces demands the best from outside because it's better on paper, or any number of other reasons while being unwilling to painstakingly collaborate and develop locally, they also make us dependent on the whims and fancies of those nations. In other words, they're undermining the very freedoms they are tasked to defend and further.
Getting back to the original statement, it suggests the DRDO independently develops something to readiness as defined by the military entity, and the military clinically accepts it. That's really not how lifecycle development occurs. Each arm of the military needs independent design specification organizations who can work with domestic design and manufacturing entities to iteratively develop their products.
The original statement can also be stated in corollary as 'has IA/IAF scrupulously avoided any procurement from abroad that was not an entirely finished product that required no iterative enhancement at all ?' The answer is no. When they bought their current frontline fighter, it did not exist. They got Su-30Ks, which were upgraded to MK-1s, which were upgraded or wholesale replaced with MKIs, approximately 8-10 years after the original aircraft started flying in their colors. Ditto for the T90s. I'm sure there are several more that others more familiar with the mil forum can point out. Since the corollary is not a valid statement, the original question cannot be asserted meaningfully.
This isn't to suggest that the problem lies with the armed forces. The lack of a substantial domestic industrial design and manufacturing base hampers a lot of armaments development, from the low end to cutting edge. However, an effective solution involves fixing both, not papering over one by undermining the freedoms the other is tasked to defend.