NEW DELHI (Agencies): The Indian Army is set to halt all ammunition imports by next year, according to a senior defense procurement official. This move comes as the country’s domestic industry has significantly increased its production capacity to meet national requirements.

Historically dependent on imports, the Indian Army has now identified local sources for approximately 150 of the 175 types of ammunition it utilizes. “In the next financial year, we will not have any import of ammunition, except in cases where the quantity is too low and it is not economical for the industry to manufacture them,” stated Major General VK Sharma, the Indian Army’s Additional Director General (Procurement). He added that the army currently purchases ammunition worth 60-80 billion rupees ($718-960 million) annually, all of which will soon be sourced locally. Presently, only 5-10% of the requirements are met by foreign suppliers.

Over the past eight years, New Delhi has replenished its stocks of spare parts and ammunition through several rounds of emergency procurements. These were authorized by the Defense Ministry following various security incidents, including a terrorist attack in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir in 2016, airstrikes against Pakistan in 2019, and skirmishes with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh in 2020.

The army has also prepared a long-term roadmap to procure ammunition for the next ten years amid ongoing border tensions with China and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The plan aims to minimize imports, diversify supply sources, and enhance indigenous manufacturing capability.

In March, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh warned that India’s dependence on imports of military hardware could be “fatal” for strategic autonomy. Despite this, India remains the world’s largest arms importer, accounting for 9.8% of total global imports from 2019 to 2023, with Russia being its main weapons supplier.

India’s push to procure more locally-made ammunition coincides with efforts to boost defense exports, targeting $5 billion annually by the financial year 2024-25. Last fiscal year, exports of weapons systems reached an all-time high of 210 billion rupees ($2.5 billion), marking a 32.5% growth. The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, jointly developed by India and Russia, has emerged as one of the most potential export items. Last month, India delivered its first batch of BrahMos to the Philippines.

By Media

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