|Representative Image|India stands at fourth position among 12 countries of the Indo-Pacific in self-reliant defence production, says a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) that assessed self-reliance in arms production. China dominated the list leaving others behind by a long margin.
“China dominates the ranking, reaching a self-reliance score more than two and a half times higher than Japans,” the study by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a think tank on global security issues says.
The study covered Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Vietnam could not be included in the final ranking due to a lack of data. Despite the long-term efforts, India remains one of the largest importers of major arms globally. For the period 201620, it ranked as the second largest importer, the study says. “India’s domestic arms companies provide only 16 per cent of its total procurement. However, the significant arms sales of local firms and the high level of licensed production push India to fourth position in the list. This should be to put in perspective against the fact that India is the second largest military spender in the region, after China.” The study says India is highly dependent on imports of complete foreign major arms, including many produced under licence or as components for its domestic production. “Of India’s total volume of procurement in 201620, 84 per cent was of foreign origin.” According to the study, China remained the worlds fifth largest arms importer in 201620 but the implementation of the self-reliance and military civil fusion policies, combined with Chinas fast-paced economic growth, mean that the Chinese arms industry increasingly fulfils the requirements of the armed forces, the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA).
“Hence, while the volume of imports was still high in absolute terms, it accounted for only 8 per cent of total procurement for the period. This is the lowest share for any of the 12 governments studied in this report.”
The report points out that delivery of combat aircraft and air-defence systems from Russia were an important part of the Chinese imports, but these were all delivered by the end of 2019, and no new orders have since been announced. “Domestic production accounted for 92 percent of total procurement. This share is likely to be an underestimate as data on Chinese procurements from domestic production is often unreliable or incomplete and estimates made for this report are conservatively low. Domestic production covers all categories of major arms, including almost all key components, and it includes the high end of technology (e.g. China is one of only two states that has a fifth-generation combat aircraft in serial production, and it is a pioneer in armed UAVs)” According to the study, domestic production in China is replacing many critical imports. “For instance, the latest versions of the J-10, J-11 and J-20 combat aircraft and the Y-20 transport aircraft, which started to be delivered in 2019 and 2020, use Chinese-designed engines instead of the imported Russian engines used in earlier versions.” Pakistan is ranked eighth, followed by Indonesia (rank 9), Malaysia (rank 10) and Thailand (rank 11).