India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hand over domestically produced military hardware to the Indian Armed Forces today.
This military hardware includes light combat helicopters that are designed and developed by state-run plan maker Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, and unmanned aerial vehicles that are manufactured by local start-ups.
The PM’s hand over is a part of celebrations of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence and is believed to send a message of India as a self-reliant country. This handing over the equipment also shows India’s attempts to cope with China’s growing presence in the border region of Arunachal Pradesh and influence in the Indo-Pacific.
China was the fourth biggest arms exporter in 2019-2020 and its main markets are countries like Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines. India contributes less than 1 percent of the world’s arms exports and is the second largest arms importer. So, becoming more self-reliant in defense and reduces India’s reliance on external arms to combat China and opens new avenues for Indian exports.
Expect India to continue cutting arms imports while increasing investment in military research and development in the medium-term. In the long-term, India will like push arms exports to increase their regional influence over China’s.