• Tuesday, June 18, 2024

News

India pitches domestically produced military hardware to Africa

India is endeavoring to promote more of its domestically produced military hardware to other countries, particularly poorer nations that cannot afford expensive western-made equipment

An African Army soldier checks a weapon at the weapon display session during Africa-India field training exercise (AFINDEX-2023), in Pune on March 29, 2023. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

India displayed its indigenous helicopters, drones, and artillery to army chiefs and officials from 31 African nations in a bid to become a significant arms exporter.

Being the largest arms importer globally, India has invested significantly into its defense sector to reduce its reliance on imports, especially from Russia, as it confronts China over their disputed border.

Concurrently, India is endeavoring to promote more of its domestically produced military hardware to other countries, particularly poorer nations that cannot afford expensive western-made equipment.

“We are making equipment which is affordable and reliable,” retired Indian army general VG Patankar said at the event.

On Wednesday, the Indian military showed off the goods on offer with a simulated operation featuring commandos abseiling from helicopters, armoured vehicles and bomb disposal robots.

Also on display in Pune in western India, the country’s key defence manufacturing hub, were assault rifles, artillery shells and models of missiles.

The gathering, which followed nine days of joint military drills with soldiers from 23 African countries, included delegates from Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa.

India opened its largest helicopter manufacturing plant in February, months after it unveiled its first locally made aircraft carrier and test-fired a ballistic missile from its maiden domestic nuclear-powered submarine.

The country aims to more than double its annual arms exports to $5 billion in the coming years, from about $1.7bn currently.

Less than 20 percent of its arms exports currently go to Africa, with customers including Egypt, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Mauritius and the Seychelles, officials said on condition of anonymity.

S P Shukla, head of the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers, said that the focus of the Africa sales pitch was “defensive” in nature, including armoured vehicles, radars, telecommunication equipment.

(AFP)

Related Stories

Videos

Mrunal Thakur on Dhamaka, experience of working with Kartik Aaryan,…
Nushrratt Bharuccha on Chhorii, pressure of comparison with Lapachhapi, upcoming…
Abhimanyu Dassani on Meenakshi Sundareshwar, how his mom Bhagyashree reacted…