Congress and Rahul Gandhi are busy in creating these false narratives that there has been a scam in the Rafale deal. But all the claims in this regard has been busted by The True Picture. You can read the list of lies by the Congress Party and the real facts in the Rafale matter in our article Rahul Gandhi and Congress Party’s Series of Lies on Rafale. Amidst all these chaos, it seems that the Congress Party is blurring two important facts. One, that the decade of UPA rule saw a vain policy paralysis in the defence procurement for our country, which made our defence forces face critical gaps in arms and equipment. Secondly, the present NDA government has been putting in serious efforts to fill this glaring gap with both the domestic manufacturing of defence equipment and buying them from other countries. Make in India defence has been playing a major role in the defence equipment procurement and manufacturing.
Since Rahul Gandhi has spent much of his time arguing that the present Government with its defence deal undermining the Indian manufacturing interests, it is imperative to recall how Make in India defence has been addressing the gaps created by previous UPA Government. We have already revealed the facts about Rahul Gandhi’s claim that HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) was neglected by the Modi government. The claim was not only wrong but also, contrary to it the institution saw a highest ever turn-over under the present government.
Make in India Defence- Glowing & Growing Story
The Public Sector Units (PSUs) like HAL, DRDO, and BHEL have been benefitting from Make in India defence. Moreover, whether it is a PSU or Private sector involved in defence manufacturing, the result will be the creation of jobs, skill development and strengthening of India’s defence capability. Following this background, let us check some of the examples from India’s indigenous defence industry getting a boost under Make in India Defence sector.
As the Ministry of Defence detailed that during the last four years (up to June 2018), out of total 168 contracts, 106 contracts have been signed with the Indian vendors for procurement of defence equipment for Armed Forces, which include Helicopters, Radar, Ballistic Helmets, Artillery Guns, Simulators, Missiles, Bullet Proof Jackets, Electronic Fuzes and ammunition.
Bullet-proof Jackets and Helmets
Before making all kinds of false allegations, Congress should ponder over this media report dated April 2018. After 9 years of long wait, Indian soldiers were assured of bullet-proof jackets under Modi Government’s enterprise, which means UPA just neglected this necessity during its tenure.
Further, the Indian Army got bullet-proof helmets which have been manufactured at a facility in Kanpur. M Kumar Udyog (MKU) is manufacturing around 1.6 lakh bulletproof helmets for the Indian Army. The official details about the procurement of bulletproof jacket and helmets can be accessed here.
In February 2018, approval has been given by the Modi Government, for procurement of 7.4 lakh Assault Rifles for the three defence services. These Rifles will be ‘Make in India’ program, under the categorisation of ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’, through both Ordinance Factory Board and Private Industry at an estimated cost of Rs 12,280 crore.
The approval has also given for procurement of 5,719 Sniper Rifles for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force at an estimated cost of Rs 982 crore. While these high precision weapons will be bought under the ‘Buy Global’ categorisation, the ammunition for these rifles will be initially procured from outside and subsequently manufactured in India.
India’s first ‘Make in India’ Scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari is already commissioned into the Indian Navy. It was the first submarine delivered out of the six Scorpene-class submarines booked under the Indian Navy’s Project 75. Indian Navy’s second ‘Make in India’ Scorpene-class submarine INS Khanderi was launched in January 2017 and is currently undergoing trials. Third Scorpene submarine ‘Karanj’, which was launched in January 2018, is also part of Make in India Project.
In the anti-submarine warfare system, the “Mareech”, has been developed indigenously by DRDO and has successfully completed extensive trial evaluations. The ‘Mareech’ system will be produced by the Bharat Electronics Limited, Bengaluru, at an estimated cost of Rs 850 crore.
Make in India Defence Flying High: Astra is India’s first indigenously developed beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile system for the Indian Air Force (IAF), developed by DRDO. It has been undergoing a series of successful test fires. The first Squadron of Tejas, an advanced multirole aircraft with state-of-art avionics was inducted in July 2016.
A contract was signed in September 2015 for the procurement of state-of-the-art AH-64E Apache attack helicopters from USA. Their delivery would commence from July 2019. Under ‘Make in India’, AH-64 Apache fuselages and other aerostructures are being manufactured in India, at the Tata Boeing Aerospace joint venture facility in Hyderabad.
Thus, the Congress Party, which is apparently guilty of stalling India’s defence procurement, has been raising baseless controversies now sitting in opposition, while the Modi Government and its ‘Make in India’ defence policy is working rigorously towards building a militarily stronger and secure India. As more and more Indian companies are getting huge defence contracts, all these will evidently result in technology transfer, employment generation on the ground, which is in direct contradiction with Rahul Gandhi’s fear-mongering and fake allegations.