India's export of military hardware reached an all-time high of Rs 15,920 crore in the financial year 2022-2023 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi describing it as a clear manifestation of enthusiasm towards 'Make in India' initiative.
The value of total defence exports in 2022-23 is a ten-fold increase compared to the amount of Rs 1,521 crore recorded in exporting military hardware in 2016-17.
"India's defence exports have reached an all-time high of Rs 15, 920 crore in FY 2022-2023. It is a remarkable achievement for the country," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Twitter.
"Under the inspiring leadership of PM Shri @narendramodi, our defence exports will continue to grow exponentially," he said.
In a tweet, Modi described the achievement as a clear manifestation of India's talent and the enthusiasm towards 'Make in India'.
"It also shows the reforms in this sector over the last few years are delivering good results. Our Government will keep supporting efforts to make India a defence production hub," he said.
The key platforms that India has been exporting are Dornier-228 aircraft, 155 mm Advanced Towed Artillery Guns (ATAGs), Brahmos missiles, Akash missile system, radars, mine protected vehicles, armoured vehicles, Pinaka rockets and launchers, ammunition, thermal imagers and various components of avionics and small arms.
There is growing global demand for Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, light combat helicopters and aircraft carrier, MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) facilities, the ministry said.
It said India is exporting military hardware to over 85 countries.
"The Indian industry has shown its capability of design and development to the world, with 100 firms exporting defence products at present. The rising defence exports and participation of 104 countries in Aero India 2023 are proof of India's growing defence manufacturing capabilities," the ministry said.
"Through consistent policy initiatives of the government and tremendous contribution of the defence industry, India has achieved a remarkable milestone in defence exports in 2022-23. The exports have reached an all-time high of approximately Rs 16,000 crore, almost Rs 3,000 crore more than the previous financial year," it said.
India exported military hardware worth Rs 8,434 crore in 2020-21, Rs 9,115 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 10,745 crore in 2018-19, according to official data. The amount in 2017-18 was Rs 4,682 crore.
The government has set a target of achieving defence manufacturing worth Rs 1,75,000 crore including defence exports of Rs 35,000 crore by 2024-25.
In the last few years, the government has taken a series of measures to promote domestic defence production.
"To give a push to defence exports, the government has taken a number of policy initiatives and brought reforms over the last 5-6 years. Export procedures have been simplified and made industry friendly with end-to-end online export authorisation curtailing delays and bringing ease of doing business," the ministry said.
"The Government has notified three Open General Export License (OGEL) for export of parts and components/transfer of technology/major platforms and equipment," it added.
The OGEL is one-time export license, which permits the industry to export specified items to specified destinations, enumerated in the OGEL, without seeking export authorisation during the validity of the OGEL.
"Export leads received from various countries are disseminated to the registered Indian defence exporters through an online portal on a real time basis to enable them to respond to export opportunities," the ministry said.