In 2022, India made significant progress toward achieving a fully independent domestic industry capable of providing the Indian armed forces with cutting-edge arms, equipment, and technology. A fresh phase of change was ushered in as a direct result of this move. Additionally, this year saw a growth in exports to a new level. The following is a list of the most significant events that occurred in 2022 and what may be anticipated in 2023.
The nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V, which has a range of up to 5,000 kilometres and provides a significant boost to the nation’s strategic deterrence, was successfully tested by India on December 22. This event marked an important step forward for India’s ability to maintain its strategic deterrence. The evaluation of the ability to operate in low-light conditions was carried out when tensions on the border with China were extremely high. A substantial percentage of the Indian populace could see the Agni-V flight after it was recorded on video by amateurs. This is even though the Indian government has not published any announcements regarding the test.
The INS Vikrant, India’s first aircraft carrier that was wholly developed within the nation, was officially commissioned into the Indian Navy at the Cochin Shipyard in Kerala. The aircraft carrier is 262 metres long, weighs 45,000 tonnes, is propelled by four turbines, and can attain a top speed of 28 knots while creating 88 megawatts of power. The total construction price was 20,000 crore rupees. The aircraft carrier has 2,300 different compartments that can house the approximately 1,700 troops that make up the crew. In addition, there are separate quarters for the female staff in the organisation. Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) is the company in charge of supplying the specialised steel utilised to construct the aircraft carrier. The quantity of DMR plates supplied by the company was 30,000 tonnes. Industrial behemoths such as Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited (GRSE), Keltron, Kirloskar, Larsen & Toubro, and Wartsila India, in addition to more than one hundred micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), have contributed a significant quantity of domestically manufactured machinery and equipment.
A foundation stone has been laid in preparation for the beginning of production of the C-295 cargo aircraft in the city of Vadodara in the Indian state of Gujarat. Together, TATA Consortium and Airbus Defence intend to manufacture forty aircraft in India. Equipped for rapid reaction and the paradropping of both men and cargo, multi-role C-295 aircraft can fly in any weather condition during the day and at night.
Both the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army were able to induct Prachand, the country’s first Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), to be developed locally. The indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state-of-the-art modern combat helicopter has approximately 45 percent indigenous content by value. This percentage will gradually increase to more than 55 percent for the Series Production. As a result of its ability to land and take off at an altitude of 5,000 metres while carrying a considerable load of armaments and fuel, the LCH gunship is the only attack helicopter in the world that can fulfil the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.
Exports – Brahmos, Pinaka, Kalyani MArG
India was successful in securing export sales for significant weapon systems in 2022. The Indian Pinaka Multi barrel system was the one that was ordered by Armenia, whereas the Indo-Russian Brahmos missile system was what was purchased by the Philippines. An unnamed government ordered a 155 mm truck-mounted cannon manufactured by Kalyani, known as the MArG.
Along its borders with Pakistan and China, India will soon have the Pralay missile defence system installed. The missile, powered by solid fuel, can travel a maximum distance of 500 kilometres and can avoid detection by adversarial anti-missile defences.
From a Su-30MKI fighter jet, the Indian Air Force successfully launched an Extended range Brahmos missile with a range of around 450 kilometres to improve its anti-shipping capabilities.
What is to come in 2023?
India will receive the third squadron of Russia’s S-400 missile system at the beginning of 2023.
It is anticipated that India’s military forces will soon own their own cutting-edge AK-203 rifle, which will be produced locally.
Under project Zorawar, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the L&T Corporation will collaborate to develop India’s first homegrown Light Tank. These tanks will compete for a contract, ultimately seeing their deployment against the Chinese in the Himalayas.
Five and Sixth Scorpene
The Indian Navy is scheduled to receive the final two Scorpene submarines in 2023. It will be interesting to see what happens if the government decides to proceed with plans to build two further submarines of the same sort using the existing production lines.
First C-295 delivery
The first C-295 aircraft delivery from a manufacturer outside India is anticipated to arrive in India in September 2023. Between September 2023 and August 2025, the Indian Air Force is scheduled to receive sixteen fly-away aircraft. The Indian Air Force’s airlift capabilities will be strengthened due to the addition of the aircraft.
All of the projects mentioned above are known to be completed in 2023. In the same way, as in 2022, India’s defence industry might experience some unexpected events.