After the attack on Ukraine, India is looking for alternatives to Russian weapons.

New Delhi also wants to ramp up armaments production in its own country even more quickly.

This could avert imminent sanctions, especially from America, secure supplies, create more jobs and at the same time force the West to transfer technology more quickly.

So far, the highly armed South Asian giant has been getting around 60 percent of its weapons from Russia.

Christopher Hein

Business correspondent for South Asia/Pacific based in Singapore.

  • Follow I follow

"Our goal is to make India a priority country for the development of defense technology," Defense Secretary Rajnath Singh said.

The world's second-largest army wants to have materials worth 2.1 trillion rupees (25.4 billion euros) made by local manufacturers over the next five years - both state-owned and private companies.

A larger proportion could be covered by already signed contracts for arms supplies from America, Israel, France and Russia totaling around $13 billion.

Because they already include a localization worth up to half of the total order.

Since the beginning of 2008, orders to the Americans alone have now reached a value of 15 billion dollars.

Fourth largest air force in the world

One reason for the change is Moscow's war: India fears that Russia will now have to keep more material instead of exporting it.

In the search for spare parts, the Indians might therefore have to contact neighboring countries of Russia.

For example, Bulgaria, Poland, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine have parts for the Sukhoi and Mig fighter jets – but they would prefer to provide them to Ukraine.

In return, they could demand greater support from New Delhi for the Ukrainian position at multilateral level.

India's air force, the fourth largest in the world, has more than 400 Russian planes and helicopters.

However, India is also currently receiving the last deliveries of the state-of-the-art French Rafale.

Production in own country

Even when ordering, the local production of at least individual components was extremely important to the Indians.

During his visit to New Delhi last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that some production lines for Russian weapons would be relocated to India.

Among other things, Russia has delivered the Brahmos missile system to India.

The Russian manufacturer NPO Mashinostroyenia has founded a joint venture with the Indian state company Defense Research and Development Organization for its production and further development.

The Philippines have ordered a first delivery of the system from the Indians.

The navy has, among other things, a former Russian aircraft carrier in use, but also submarines and frigates.

It also has to be renewed, which is what European manufacturers such as Thyssenkrupp Marine Services (TKMS) or their competitor, the French Naval Group, but also British and American manufacturers are counting on.

New frigates and an Akula-class nuclear submarine await them from Russia.

the next steps

British Foreign Minister Liz Truss was in New Delhi discussing the expansion of defense relations with her counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

The British have just sent a frigate to Singapore to operate in the Indo-Pacific from now on - a signal to the former colonial country as an ally.

The Indian Ministry of Defense has drawn up a "positive list" of production to be repatriated, which includes around 300 items.

In 2020, Indians had allowed foreigners to own up to 74 percent of Indian arms manufacturers to attract investors.

India has to create around twelve million jobs for its adolescents every year.

Keywords: