Towards indigenisation: MoD puts 108 defence items on import ban list

The list “provides an excellent opportunity for ‘start-ups’, as also MSMEs, which will get tremendous boost from this initiative,” the MoD
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 according to provisions in the Def­ence Acquisition Procedure 2020. The 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 announced last August.

“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,” stated an MoD release on Monday.

The list “provides an excellent opportunity for ‘start-ups’, as also MSMEs, which will get tremendous boost from this initiative,” the MoD said, adding, “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.”

Starting this December, the military will rely exclusively on indigenous vendors for 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, warship-grade steel and armoured or mine-protected infantry vehicles.

From December 2022, indigen­ous defence industry will be requi­red to supply 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 for mountain-based weapon locating radar that operate with automatic electronically scanned arrays, 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 for fighter aircraft, starting with the Tejas, a medium power radar 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 and their 14.5 mm armour piercing Incendiary ammunition.

The Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) welcomed the 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.”

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