The Government of India has set a target of taking defence exports from $1.5 billion to $5 billion by 2024-25.
India has been one of the world’s largest importers of defence equipment for decades. But now the picture is changing; India is moving toward becoming an exporter from a defence importer. The Government of India is working with the vision of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Self-Reliant India’ in the defence sector, especially aerospace. Under this, indigenous equipment and technology are being developed. Another good news has emerged for India in this direction.
Several countries, like Egypt and Argentina, have expressed interest in purchasing Tejas fighter aircraft developed in India. According to HAL Chairman CB Ananthakrishnan, India is currently in talks with these countries for a possible supply of Tejas aircraft. It’s interesting to note that Egypt needs 20 aircraft, while Argentina is interested in buying 15 fighter aircraft. Countries like America, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines have also shown interest in Tejas aircraft.
CB Ananthakrishnan also mentioned that Egypt is keen on having an MRO facility, and India is more than willing to support the country in creating an aerospace ecosystem. Additionally, two teams from the Argentine Air Force have already visited HAL. Malaysia is also keen on replacing its ageing fleet of Russian MiG-29 aircraft and has shown interest in buying at least 18 Tejas fighter jets.
So, what makes Tejas so special?
History of ‘Tejas’
Did you know that the Tejas aircraft project was initiated in 1983? The aircraft made its maiden flight in January 2001 and could be inducted into the Indian Air Force squadron in 2016.
In fact, just last year, in February 2021, the Ministry of Defense signed a whopping Rs 48,000 crore deal with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to purchase 83 Tejas fighter jets for the Indian Air Force.
HAL, a state-owned Indian aerospace and defence company headquartered in Bangalore, has been in the business for over 50 years! With all that experience, it’s no wonder that HAL is currently manufacturing a wide range of military helicopters and aircraft, including the Tejas, for the country.
Export of Defence Equipment From India
According to an article published in ABP News, India’s defence exports have increased six-fold in the past six years. In 2021-22, they already surpassed their previous export record, reaching more than $1.5 billion!
Made-in-India platforms like the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft and aircraft carrier INS Vikrant are examples of India’s true potential in the defence manufacturing sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the Aero India Show on Monday.
India is moving forward on its target of increasing defence exports from $1.5 billion to $5 billion by 2024-25.
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