India is eyeing defence export of USD 5 billion in the next five years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday, highlighting the measures taken by his government to boost manufacturing and to woo investors to set up a base in the country.
Inaugurating the 11th edition of DefExpo here, PM Modi said a country of the size of India cannot entirely depend on imports and added the number of defence licenses issued in the last five years has risen to 460 from 210 in 2014, the year he first came to power.
India is building several defence equipments like artillery guns, aircraft carriers, submarines, light-combat aircraft, and combat helicopters, he said.
“Our mantra is Make in India, for India, for the world. In 2014 the export of defence equipment from India was about Rs 2,000 crore. In the last 2 years, it has gone up to Rs 17,000 crore. In the next five years our target is export of USD 5 billion, which is about Rs 35,000 crore,” the Prime Minister said.
India is not only a major market globally but a vast opportunity for the world as well, he said, asserting that Uttar Pradesh is going to be one of the biggest defence manufacturing hubs in India.
Lack of proper policy initiative in the last several decades made India the biggest importer of defence platforms, he added.
PM Modi cited misuse of technology, terrorism and cyber threat as challenges facing the world and said defence forces are eyeing new technology considering new threats. India is not behind others, he added.
He said a roadmap had been finalised to use application of artificial intelligence in the defence sector.
The Prime Minister said the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff and the Department of Military Affairs will boost the overall defence production.
“We are going to enhance our presence in the outer space in coming years,” he said, adding that the DRDO is putting up effective protection for India’s assets in outer space created by ISRO.
“Our defence preparedness is not aimed at any country as India is a reliable contributor to world peace. It’s our responsibility to ensure the security of not only India but countries in the neighbourhood as well,” he said.
He invited foreign defence manufacturers to “come and invest in India.