India's Defence Exports Surge to All-Time High, Reflecting Remarkable Growth in Manufacturing Sector

The Indian government has implemented several policy initiatives and reforms over the past nine years to bolster defence exports. These measures have curtailed delays and facilitated ease of doing business in the defence sector.

Srajan Girdonia
New Update
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India's defence exports have experienced a momentous surge, reaching an all-time high of nearly ₹16,000 crore in the fiscal year 2022-23, compared to ₹686 crore in FY 2013-14. This remarkable 23-fold increase showcases India's progress in the global defence manufacturing sector, with exports now reaching over 85 countries. The nation's defence industry has demonstrated its prowess in design and development, with 100 firms currently exporting defence products.

Government Policy Initiatives Drive Growth

The Indian government has implemented several policy initiatives and reforms over the past nine years to bolster defence exports. One key reform has been the simplification of export procedures, making them more industry-friendly and enabling end-to-end online export authorization. These measures have curtailed delays and facilitated ease of doing business in the defence sector.

Atmanirbhar Bharat Initiatives Foster Indigenous Defence Manufacturing

The Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) initiatives have played a pivotal role in promoting indigenous design, development, and manufacturing of defence equipment in the country. These initiatives aim to reduce India's dependency on imports in the long run. Notably, the expenditure on defence procurement from foreign sources has decreased from 46% of the overall expenditure in 2018-19 to 36.7% in December 2022.

Diversification from Importer to Exporter

India, once predominantly known as a defence equipment importer, has successfully transitioned into an exporter of a wide range of major platforms. This includes aircraft like the Dornier-228, artillery guns, BrahMos Missiles, and PINAKA rockets and launchers, among others. Furthermore, the global demand for India's indigenous products, such as the LCA-Tejas, Light Combat Helicopters, Aircraft Carriers, and MRO activities, is on the rise.

Steady Growth in Defence Exports

The figures demonstrate a steady increase in India's defence exports over the years. In 2016-17, the exports stood at ₹1,521 crore, followed by ₹4,682 crore in 2017-18, ₹10,745 crore in 2018-19, ₹9,115 crore in 2019-20, ₹8,434 crore in 2020-21, ₹12,814 crore in 2021-22, and reaching ₹15,920 crore in 2022-23.

India's burgeoning defence exports reflect thDefence Exports Over The Years.jpge nation's commitment to developing a robust domestic manufacturing ecosystem and reducing reliance on imports. With the support of government policies, streamlined export procedures, and the enthusiasm of Indian industry, the growth trajectory of India's defence exports is poised to continue its upward trajectory, solidifying the country's position in the global defence manufacturing landscape.

Expanding Global Presence

India's defence exports have now extended to more than 85 countries worldwide. With 100 firms engaged in exporting defence products, the Indian industry has firmly established its capability in design and development. The rising defence exports and the participation of 104 countries in Aero India 2023 exemplify India's growing defence manufacturing prowess. Rajnath Singh, India's Defence Minister, hailed the record-breaking defence exports as a remarkable achievement for the country and expressed confidence in continued exponential growth under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Government Reforms and Simplified Export Procedures

The Indian government has implemented a series of policy initiatives and reforms over the past 5-6 years to support defence exports. Export procedures have been simplified and made more industry-friendly, with the introduction of end-to-end online export authorizations, reducing delays and improving the ease of doing business. Additionally, the government has established three Open General Export Licenses (OGELs) for the export of parts and components, transfer of technology, and major platforms and equipment. The OGEL is a one-time export license that permits the industry to export specified items to designated destinations without requiring individual export authorizations.

Promotion of Indian Defence Products

To capitalize on export opportunities, export leads from various countries are promptly disseminated to registered Indian Defence Exporters through an online portal in real-time. Regular reviews are conducted with Indian Missions abroad to promote Indian defence products and facilitate the Indian industry. Over 40 webinars have been organized in collaboration with Friendly Foreign Countries (FFCs) and industry associations.