India Aims To Triple Defence Exports To $5 Billion, Sell Fighter Jets, Choppers
During a big air show on Monday, arms companies flocked to compete for a piece of the country’s enormous import budget. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ambitions to more than increase annual defence exports to $5 billion over the following two years.
As its airlines work to complete jetliner purchases to meet civilian demand and pressure international aircraft manufacturers to produce more locally, primarily through partnerships, India is looking to sign defence deals worth 750 billion rupees ($9 billion) at the biennial five-day Aero India event.
India has long been one of the largest importers of defence gear, but it hasn’t really carried its weight when it comes to selling weapons abroad.
As it leverages its massive imports to entice investment in its domestic industry, India’s export aspirations are an indication of its expanding influence.
“Today, India is not just a market for defence companies, it is also a potential defence partner,” PM Modi said in a speech at the show. “I call on India’s private sector to invest more and more in the country’s defence sector.”
India exports defence goods to 75 nations, he continued.
Past exports include supersonic cruise missiles from the Russia-India partnership BrahMos Aerospace and Dhruv helicopters from Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) to the Philippines, Mauritius, and Ecuador. Malaysia has also been presented with a Tejas light fighter jet by HAL.
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