Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has authorised a new list of 780 parts and systems that may only be bought from indigenous manufacturers after an import restriction goes into effect over the course of about six years. This collection of "positive indigenization" items, which includes line replacement parts for various military platforms, tools, and weaponry, is the third of its kind. The goal is for defence public sector enterprises to import as little as possible (DPSUs).

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has established specified dates from December 2023 to December 2028 for the import prohibition of the commodities."Singh has approved the third positive indigenisation list of 780 strategically important Line Replacement Units (LRUs)/Sub-systems/Components with a timeline beyond which they will only be procured from the domestic industry," it said in a statement on Sunday.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressing a function at Baramulla in north KashmirDefence PRO

The two identical positive lists that were released in December 2021 and March 2022 serve as a continuation of the list. The ministry added, "Indigenization of these commodities would be pursued through various channels under the 'Make' category. The "Make" category intends to increase Indian industry participation in the defence manufacturing industry in order to attain self-reliance.

The ministry stated that projects requiring the design and construction of machinery, platforms, large systems, or improvements thereto by the industry could be included in this category. It claimed that developing these products domestically will boost the economy and lessen DPSU's reliance on imports." In addition, it will help to harness the design capabilities of the domestic defence industry and position India as a design leader in these technologies," the ministry said.

It stated that the DPSUs would shortly release requests for proposals (RFPs) and expressions of interest (EoIs). The government has implemented a number of initiatives over the past few years to support domestic defence production. India is one of the world's top arms importers while facing formidable threats from neighbours on its western and northern borders.

Mark-1A Tejas fighters
Tejas fightersCredit:Twitter (Group Captain Gunasekhar)

Over the next five years, the Indian armed services are anticipated to spend over USD 130 billion (one billion is equal to Rs 100 crore) on capital acquisition. The government has chosen to boost the indigenous defence industry in an effort to lessen reliance on imported military platforms. The defence ministry has set a target of US$25 billion (Rs. 1.75 lakh crore) in defence manufacturing revenue over the next five years, including a US$5 billion military hardware export target.