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India has taken a significant stride in bolstering its defense capabilities by implementing a ban on the use of Chinese components in the production of military drones by domestic manufacturers. The decision was driven by concerns surrounding security and the need to strengthen indigenous manufacturing in the defense sector. This move not only underscores India’s commitment to self-reliance but also marks a crucial step towards enhancing national security.

The decision was a result of two rounds of deliberations between the Indian government and drone developers. The ban is a response to the growing realization of the potential risks associated with using components sourced from countries that may have interests in accessing sensitive information.

One of the frontrunners in the Indian drone manufacturing sector, Chennai-based start-up Garuda Aerospace, has embraced this ban as an opportunity to further strengthen its commitment to indigenous production. With the ban in place, Garuda Aerospace aims to increase localization to 75%, up from the present 40%, and ultimately achieve 100% localization in drone manufacturing within a year. This move aligns with the company’s broader vision of making India a global drone hub by 2030.

Garuda Aerospace’s approach is not only focused on achieving higher localization but also on forging partnerships with over 120 companies to drive the production of drones. These partnerships encompass various forms, including joint ventures, technology transfers, and supplier arrangements. This collaborative approach aims to harness the expertise of multiple entities to propel India’s drone manufacturing capabilities to new heights.

The Indian Army’s recognition of Garuda Aerospace’s potential has added a new dimension to the company’s endeavors. The technical team at Garuda Aerospace is working closely with the Indian Army to modify drones to cater to specific security needs. The company’s drones are being deployed for various applications, supporting both strategic and tactical operations.

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