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India’s military is making a strong push towards self-reliance in defense production, with a particular focus on ammunition. Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Manoj Pande highlighted this strategic shift during a recent address.

General Pande revealed that the Indian Army’s ammunition inventory currently boasts 175 variants. Notably, 134 of these variants are produced indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and public sector defense companies (DPSUs). This indigenous production is being further bolstered by the onboarding of private companies.

The COAS emphasized the success of this indigenization strategy. He pointed to a significant surge in India’s defense exports, reaching a staggering Rs 21,000 crore in 2023-24. This marks a 30-fold increase over the past five years, with a substantial contribution coming from the private sector’s involvement.

Beyond self-reliance, technological advancement is another key pillar of this military modernization effort. General Pande noted that 120 projects are currently underway to develop 45 niche technologies domestically. This initiative aims to equip Indian forces for future battlegrounds. The COAS also stressed the importance of adopting commercially available technologies to expedite the process.

2024 has been designated as the “year of technology absorption” for the Indian Army. This year will see a strong emphasis on sourcing all essential combat requirements domestically, encompassing not just weapons but also ammunition, spare parts, and maintenance needs.

This strategic shift towards indigenous production and technological advancement promises to strengthen India’s defense capabilities and position the nation as a significant exporter in the global defense market.