The Indian government is pushing for complete “Atmanirbharta,” or self-reliance, in the country’s defense sector to ensure national security in the face of changing geopolitical and geostrategic dynamics.
The push comes from big government programs like the Defence India Start-Up Challenges, the iDEX initiative, the Positive Indigenization Lists, and support for Indian micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs). The “Make in India” initiative and the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” campaign stand out as the ones that have done the most to promote India as a major up-and-coming defense exporter.
Notably, the country’s growing research, development, and production capabilities in defense have helped it make a wide range of advanced defense equipment and technologies that are in demand worldwide.
A report from the India-based Center for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) says that “drone power” and “missile power” are the two areas where India is doing better than other countries.
The government’s plan to make India’s defense industry more self-sufficient has several important effects on the country’s border and air security. Also, making its own missiles gives India strategic independence and less reliance on foreign suppliers for important defense equipment. This is important because India has been hit with sanctions and bans.
The World Approves of Missiles Made in India
India’s aerospace and defense industries have made progress in making missiles and updating their own weapons. The world has taken notice of the country’s ability to make missiles through export orders, joint ventures, and projects with other countries. India also sells missiles made in India to many different countries. These things are-
BrahMos: The BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile that India and Russia worked together to make. It has a range of up to 450 kilometers and is one of the fastest cruise missiles in the world. The Philippines, Vietnam, and Brazil bought the BrahMos missile from India.
Akash: The Akash is a surface-to-air missile with a medium range that is made to protect against enemy planes and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It can fire up to 25 kilometers away and carry several different warheads. The Akash missile has been sold to Vietnam and Armenia by India.
Prithvi: The Prithvi is a tactical ballistic missile with a range of up to 350 kilometers. It is made to hit enemy targets on the ground and can carry either conventional or nuclear bombs. India has sold the Prithvi missile to South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, among other places.
Agni: The Agni is a family of ballistic missiles ranging between short and long. Agni-I, Agni-II, and Agni-III are all missiles in the Agni series. The Agni-I, Agni-II, and Agni-III have ranges of up to 700 km, 2,000 km, and 3,000 km, respectively. But India hasn’t sent the Agni series of missiles to any other country yet, even though the global defense market is interested.
India has a Rapid Response option, which is important because it can make missiles. Also, making its own missiles gives the country a chance to work on developing advanced technologies that can be used in many different ways outside of the defense sector. These technologies can be used in other fields, like aerospace, energy, and communications.
Overall, India’s security and strategic interests depend on its ability to make its own missiles. They give India strategic independence, the ability to deter attacks, quick response options, and technological advances, among other things.
India can remain a major regional power and improve its defenses by investing money in its missile technology. Also, the CLAWS report says, “realizing that the center of gravity of the air threat is to the north, future missile capabilities will have to make sure that weapon platforms are made lighter and mobile enough to be able to be deployed in the northern sector.”