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ammunition imports: Indian Army reduces ammunition imports, boosts indigenous production under ‘Make in India’ policy

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The Indian Army has drastically reduced its dependence on imported ammunition, aligning with the ‘Make in India’ policy. Senior defence officials emphasized the crucial role of private sector industries in achieving this milestone.

Reduced Dependence on Imports

The Indian Army, with an annual budget of around Rs 20,000 crore for ammunition, previously allocated 35-40% for imports. This figure has now been cut to less than 10%, with plans to reduce it further. “Now, that requirement has been cut down to less than 10 per cent, and we are looking to reduce it further in the next couple of years,” defence officials told ANI. The indigenisation effort includes ammunition for various weapon systems like tanks, artillery guns, air defence missiles, and grenade launchers.Expanding Export Base
Indigenisation not only reduces import dependency but also expands India’s export base. Indigenous firms, both public and private, are meeting global ammunition demands. Public sector firm Munitions India Limited (MIL) and private companies such as Solar Industries Limited, Adani Defence, Hughes Precision, and SMPP Limited have been pivotal in this transition. MIL, in particular, has received significant export orders for artillery shells, fostering new supporting industries.

Collaboration with Industry
The Army is actively collaborating with industry partners to develop and enhance ammunition products. This includes supporting new firms and allowing time for product improvements. “The force is also handholding the industry to develop the required ammunition and giving them time to further improve their products,” officials said.

Preparedness for Emergencies
Officials highlighted that increased domestic production capacities ensure the Army can meet all ammunition needs during emergencies. “The enhanced production capacities within the country can help meet all requirements for ammunition in times of emergency from indigenous sources themselves,” they stated.Future Prospects
The ongoing development of high-precision guided artillery ammunition by both private and public sector firms promises further advancements. The emergence of new firms in the ammunition sector is expected to enhance the situation, ensuring the Indian Army remains well-equipped with indigenously produced ammunition.

Through focused efforts on indigenous production, the Indian Army reduces its reliance on imports while strengthening India’s position in the global defence market. This strategic shift, driven by the ‘Make in India’ initiative, underscores the collaborative efforts of public and private sectors in enhancing national security and economic growth.

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