India is set to expand its negative list for defence imports to include new age weapons such as loitering munitions, counter drone systems and a range of small arms and ammunition. The first list, drawn in December last year, is set to be expanded as part of an exercise to bring more business to the Indian industry and cut down reliance on foreign suppliers.
Major platforms that are likely to make it to the list include all light single engine helicopters, next generation corvettes for the Indian Navy and armoured recovery and reconnaissance vehicles, according to people in the know. The final list is expected to be cleared in a meeting on Monday, with each system being designated a particular deadline for indigenous procurement.
While the original list included major platforms such as towed artillery guns, conventional submarines and attack helicopters, the expanded one is likely to also have a range of small arms including 5.56 mm carbines and anti-material rifles.
Besides, a large set of ammunition, ranging from 40 mm grenades, 80 mm warhead rockets, limpet mines and armoured piercing incendiary bullets are likely to be reserved only for Indian manufacturers, both from the private and public sectors.