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Thread: India is the world’s largest arms importer. It aims to be a big weapons dealer, too.

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    India is the world’s largest arms importer. It aims to be a big weapons dealer, too.

    NEW DELHI — For more than a decade, India shopped around the world in search of a deal for more than $1 billion worth of helicopters to replace about 200 of its military’s aging light-utility aircraft.

    But in August, the new national*ist government surprised many when it abruptly scrapped the request for global bids to buy the helicopters in favor of manufacturing them in India instead.

    In recent months, India has reversed two more proposals for buying transport aircraft and submarines and decided to make them at home. It’s part of an ambitious new push by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to foster a domestic arms industry, within a greater nationwide initiative Modi has called “Make in India.”

    India is the world’s largest buyer of weapons, accounting for 14 percent of global arms imports, almost three times as many as China.

    Over the next seven years, India is likely to spend more than $130 billion importing arms, officials say, to upgrade its understocked, Soviet-era arsenal with modern weapon systems.


    India’s military modernization can generate billions of dollars worth of business for American companies, but it also helps strengthen the nation’s strategic role in the region — at a time when the Indian and U.S. militaries are conducting more and more joint exercises. The massive buying spree coincides with India’s growing border tensions with China and Pakistan, and the approaching drawdown of international forces from Afghanistan this year.

    The United States has surpassed Moscow as India’s biggest arms supplier. In the past three years, India spent nearly $14 billion importing weapons, of which more than $5 billion worth were purchased from the United States. Russia was a close second, with a little more than $4 billion in arms sales to India.

    Analysts say that closer defense ties between India and the United States are a key part of what both countries hope will be an improved relationship, and what President Obama has called “the defining partnership of the 21st century.”

    But for American companies, working with India can be frustrating, and the country ranks low on the World Bank’s global “Ease of Doing Business” index. The slow pace of decision-making, a 49 percent limit on foreign investment in Indian defense firms and mandatory obligations to invest in local defense manufacturing remain irritants for American businesses.

    India’s fiercely independent foreign policy stance and its reluctance to fully embrace the United States as an ally often have hindered a full strategic alliance.

    Now, Modi wants to upend *India’s arms-importer tag and turn the country into not only a defense manufacturer but also a major weapons exporter, much like China has become in the past several years.

    “We dream of making India strong enough to export defense equipment to the world,” Modi said in August after christening India’s largest home-built naval warship. “Instead of having to import every little defense hardware, we want India to become an exporter of these equipment over the next few years.”

    To realize this goal, the government removed the laborious license requirements on almost 60 percent of the defense products for private manufacturing companies. Earlier this year, the government raised the limit on foreign investment in the defense industry from 26 percent to 49 percent to encourage more partnerships with foreign investors.

    “We want that the global defense companies should come to India not merely to sell to us but also to manufacture here and export to other countries,” said Amitabh Kant, secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in New Delhi.


    But that still may not be enough to bring critical defense technologies to India, foreign defense companies say.

    “Quantitatively, raising the cap from 26 percent to 49 percent is a step in the right direction,” said Pratyush Kumar, president of Boeing India, which has secured *two-thirds of the defense trade with the United States. “Qualitatively, nothing changes because it doesn’t give control to the foreign investor.”

    Analysts say India has speeded up defense decisions.

    The United States and India have hastened discussions since May on specific projects for co-production, such as antitank guided missiles, carrier-based aircraft launching systems and unmanned aerial vehicles, said Rahul S. Madhavan, director of aerospace and defense policy at the U.S.-India Business Council in Washington.

    “These are not offers that come every day,” he said. “India is now almost on par with NATO countries if you look at the kind of defense technology that are being offered by the U.S.”

    But critics say India is being torn by two competing goals: the nationalistic aspiration to produce weapons locally and the urgent need to fix the crippling shortages in the military.

    The armed forces are desperate for new helicopters, submarines, combat jets and minesweepers, but even its tanks do not have enough shells. Soldiers are demanding lightweight bulletproof vests, assault rifles, night-vision equipment, combat boots and helmets.

    In the past decade, key decisions on military acquisition have been delayed. Analysts call former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s two terms “the lost decade” for India’s defense sector.


    “We lost a decade when absolutely nothing moved,” said Arun Prakash, a retired navy chief. “The last government blacklisted so many defense companies just at the hint of wrongdoing that the military was left with almost no sources to buy from. Purchases are put on hold, investigations go on interminably or are just forgotten. That has been really damaging to the armed forces.”

    Officials say the government is likely to overhaul the policy of mandatory obligations to invest in India and align it closely with Modi’s manufacturing drive.

    Despite the push, many defense experts say India is not ready to make a giant leap like China’s — from being the largest arms importer in 2006 to becoming the world’s sixth-largest defense exporter by 2011.

    “Becoming a defense exporter is a noble aspiration but it will take a lot of doing,” Prakash said. “Given the current state of our defense research and industrial base, it is not something that will happen overnight.”


    Rama Lakshmi has been with The Post's India bureau since 1990. She is a staff writer and India social media editor for Post World.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...0ea_story.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member Greenstar's Avatar
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    Re: India is the world’s largest arms importer. It aims to be a big weapons dealer, t

    Why doesn't India manufacture some of its own? Why does it have to rely upon 3rd parties so much?

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    Senior Member Hariz's Avatar
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    Re: India is the world’s largest arms importer. It aims to be a big weapons dealer, t

    I would not be too proud of this tag. It just means that you cant produce your own

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    Re: India is the world’s largest arms importer. It aims to be a big weapons dealer, t

    Quote Originally Posted by Hariz View Post
    I would not be too proud of this tag. It just means that you cant produce your own
    That is correct. Congress party (INC), which has been mostly in power since 1947, insisted on importing arms and then filling their coffers in the deals. Very conducive to corruption. Remember Bofors?
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    Senior Member Hariz's Avatar
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    Re: India is the world’s largest arms importer. It aims to be a big weapons dealer, t

    Quote Originally Posted by Dewdrop View Post
    That is correct. Congress party (INC), which has been mostly in power since 1947, insisted on importing arms and then filling their coffers in the deals. Very conducive to corruption. Remember Bofors?
    Of course you are right we have the same problem in fact many third world countries have severe corruption and some individuals get large kickbacks on contracts for arms its almost institutionalised

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    Re: India is the world’s largest arms importer. It aims to be a big weapons dealer, t

    Quote Originally Posted by Dewdrop View Post
    That is correct. Congress party (INC), which has been mostly in power since 1947, insisted on importing arms and then filling their coffers in the deals. Very conducive to corruption. Remember Bofors?
    We just lack good leaders. Corruption is there evrrywhere; not just among politicians but also among people. We are expecting alot from Modi government but he is no magician though people expect he will bring some positive changes atleast. Need many sane and patriotic leaders.

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    Senior Member Amjad Hussain's Avatar
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    Re: India is the world’s largest arms importer. It aims to be a big weapons dealer, t

    Quote Originally Posted by Hariz View Post
    I would not be too proud of this tag. It just means that you cant produce your own
    and the likes of Russia have used India has a dumping ground

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    Re: India is the world’s largest arms importer. It aims to be a big weapons dealer, t

    Quote Originally Posted by humanity View Post
    We just lack good leaders. Corruption is there evrrywhere; not just among politicians but also among people. We are expecting alot from Modi government but he is no magician though people expect he will bring some positive changes atleast. Need many sane and patriotic leaders.
    I know we're expecting too much from Modi and his team, but looks like he's doing just fine. Maybe it's their first time and they want to prove themselves, whatever the reasons, but they are doing fine. And the Defence ministry is in good hands. Jaitley was good, but Parrikar is better. I guess, we don't need magicians, just people who take their job seriously.And I am sure we will lose the tag of the biggest arms importer and the corruption that comes along with it.
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    India approves $2.6 billion mounted gun purchase - official

    (Reuters) - India approved on Saturday the purchase of 814 mounted gun systems for the army at a cost of 157.5 billion rupees ($2.55 billion), a defence ministry spokesman said.

    India, already the world's largest arms importer, is in the midst of a $100 billion defence upgrade. In October, the new government approved long-delayed projects worth $13 billion to modernise hardware and boost the domestic defence industry.

    In June, the government cleared defence deals worth $3.5 billion.

    "The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) today cleared the acquisition of 155 mm/52 calibre mounted gun systems worth 157.5 billion rupees," a defence ministry spokesman told reporters after the meeting, chaired by newly appointed defence minister Manohar Parrikar.


    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is accelerating the modernisation plan in an attempt to catch up with neighbour China's rising military air, sea and land power. India's poorly equipped soldiers often scuffle with western neighbour Pakistan and brush up against Chinese forces patrolling a disputed Himalayan border.

    Some of the mounted guns will be imported, but most will be made in India in a collaborative effort between foreign companies and domestic manufacturers.

    "The initial 100 guns would be imported, but the remaining 714 would have to be produced in India," the official said.

    According to local media reports, Tata Power's Strategic Engineering Division unveiled its first mounted gun system on a Tata track in 2012. Other Indian competitors could be Mahindra Defence, L&T (LART.NS) and Bharat Forge (BFRG.NS) .

    Parrikar also announced that the DAC would meet more frequently, at least once in a month, to expedite acquisition proposals, the official said.

    (1 US dollar = 61.7625 Indian rupee)

    (Reporting by Nigam Prusty, writing by Manoj Kumar; editing by Susan Thomas)

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/1...0J609320141122

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    Re: India approves $2.6 billion mounted gun purchase - official

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravi01 View Post
    (Reuters) - India approved on Saturday the purchase of 814 mounted gun systems for the army at a cost of 157.5 billion rupees ($2.55 billion), a defence ministry spokesman said.

    India, already the world's largest arms importer, is in the midst of a $100 billion defence upgrade. In October, the new government approved long-delayed projects worth $13 billion to modernise hardware and boost the domestic defence industry.

    In June, the government cleared defence deals worth $3.5 billion.

    "The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) today cleared the acquisition of 155 mm/52 calibre mounted gun systems worth 157.5 billion rupees," a defence ministry spokesman told reporters after the meeting, chaired by newly appointed defence minister Manohar Parrikar.


    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is accelerating the modernisation plan in an attempt to catch up with neighbour China's rising military air, sea and land power. India's poorly equipped soldiers often scuffle with western neighbour Pakistan and brush up against Chinese forces patrolling a disputed Himalayan border.

    Some of the mounted guns will be imported, but most will be made in India in a collaborative effort between foreign companies and domestic manufacturers.

    "The initial 100 guns would be imported, but the remaining 714 would have to be produced in India," the official said.

    According to local media reports, Tata Power's Strategic Engineering Division unveiled its first mounted gun system on a Tata track in 2012. Other Indian competitors could be Mahindra Defence, L&T (LART.NS) and Bharat Forge (BFRG.NS) .

    Parrikar also announced that the DAC would meet more frequently, at least once in a month, to expedite acquisition proposals, the official said.

    (1 US dollar = 61.7625 Indian rupee)

    (Reporting by Nigam Prusty, writing by Manoj Kumar; editing by Susan Thomas)

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/1...0J609320141122
    So they they cleared a tendering process? I give it ten years before the guns arrive...

  11. #11
    Senior Member Wajid47's Avatar
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    Re: India approves $2.6 billion mounted gun purchase - official

    Quote Originally Posted by keysersoze View Post
    So they they cleared a tendering process? I give it ten years before the guns arrive...
    Why so long? Wont the price change in 10 years too?

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    Re: India approves $2.6 billion mounted gun purchase - official

    Quote Originally Posted by Wajid47 View Post
    Why so long? Wont the price change in 10 years too?
    LOL I am being sarcastic.
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    Senior Member Wajid47's Avatar
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    Re: India approves $2.6 billion mounted gun purchase - official

    Quote Originally Posted by keysersoze View Post
    LOL I am being sarcastic.
    I know but the Indians do have a tendency in taking years and delays, doubling agreed prices and by the time its delivered its almost obsolete!!!

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