DRDO’s products can be exported to friendly nations: India’s Defence Minister

Until now the DRDO has not focused on exports of defence equipment and the organisation designs and develops defence systems for the Indian Armed forces

The Dollar Business Bureau

Brahmos-TheDollarBusiness Supersonic missile Brahmos is the result of an Indo-Russian collaboration. Russia and India have a negative list of countries to which the missile will not be exported

  In a move to promote defence exports, India’s Defence Ministry said yesterday that products and systems developed by the Defence and Research Development Organisation (DRDO) can be exported to friendly countries. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said, “DRDO’s developed products/systems like radars, electronic warfare systems, missiles, naval systems, etc. can be exported to our friendly countries. Some countries have shown their initial interests to acquire DRDO developed systems.”  In a written reply to Ranjib Biswal’s query in Rajya Sabha, the Defence Minister said, “DRDO, being a designer of these systems, needs to play a lead role to adopt these systems to customer needs (export version) after taking into account the national security concerns.” According to DRDO officials, several Asian countries are already in talks over procurement of BRAHMOS missiles and other defence products, and sales may materialise soon, particularly to some countries in Asia. An official told The Dollar Business, “India is one of the few countries that has expertise in developing sophisticated missiles with a wide variety of applications and which act as a deterrent for attacks by hostile neighbouring countries.”

Thedollarbusiness1 Source - Ministry of Defence, India (estimates of exports from public sector)

India’s defence manufacturing sector remained closed for several years post liberalisation reforms in the nineties. However, to improve self-reliance, the government opened the defence industry sector up to 100% for Indian private sector participation in May 2001 and allowed FDI up to 26%. This year, the government allowed more FDI in the defence sector to up to 49% through FIPB route and above 49% through Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). Increasing the FDI limit is expected to spur R&D and boost defence exports from India. DRDO officials say that the expansion of the defence manufacturing sector in India is welcome and has invited companies to seek cooperation on several defence manufacturing opportunities. DRDO has been mandated towards making the country independent of foreign technology in the areas of defence and is primarily engaged in design and development of strategic complex and security sensitive systems for Armed Forces. Until now the DRDO has not focussed in the export of defence equipment, but has been mandated towards making the country independent of foreign technology in the areas of defence.      

This article was published on December 10, 2014.