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India is rapidly climbing the ranks of global artillery shell manufacturers, currently sitting as the third largest behind Russia and China. This newfound prominence, however, comes with challenges amidst the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Recent success stories include a $225 million deal with Saudi Arabia for artillery ammunition and a private Indian company securing a contract from the US Army for its Bi-Modular Charge System (BMCS), a crucial propellant for 155mm artillery guns. Indian-made ammunition stands out due to its NATO compatibility and modern manufacturing processes, leading to significantly fewer duds (faulty shells).

This success has attracted unwanted attention from “shady fronts and shell companies” capitalizing on the global BMCS and artillery shell shortage fueled by the war. Indian companies manufacturing these systems have reported a surge in dubious requests, prompting them to tighten security measures. India’s neutral stance in the war, refusing arms supplies to both sides, adds another layer of complexity.

Despite heightened security, a viral video from Ukraine suggests some Indian-made shells have reached the warzone, likely through a third-party country. While companies exercise caution, tracking becomes difficult once exported ammo reaches foreign soil, potentially ending up in Ukraine indirectly.

European and American stockpiles are depleted after 2 years of war, leading to a surge in orders for Indian ammunition. Many importing nations assure these supplies won’t be diverted to Ukraine, but complete oversight remains challenging. The Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has implemented checks following complaints from Russia about Indian-made ammo reaching Ukraine.

India’s booming defence exports present both opportunities and challenges. As the nation navigates this growth, it must find a way to ensure responsible trade practices while capitalizing on its technological advancements. Balancing economic benefits with its neutral stance in the war will be a crucial act in the years to come.

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