Military representative declares India to stop all ammunition shipments


(MENAFN) In a significant strategic shift, the Indian Army is poised to halt all ammunition imports by the upcoming fiscal year, as domestic production capacity has surged to meet the nation's defense requirements. A senior defense procurement official revealed to the Economic Times that the army
, historically reliant on foreign imports, has successfully identified local sources for approximately 150 out of the 175 types of ammunition it utilizes.

Major General VK Sharma, the Indian Army’s Additional Director General (Procurement), affirmed this trajectory, stating that by the next financial year, the army
envisages no import of ammunition, except in instances where quantities are too minimal for economical domestic manufacturing. He disclosed that the army
currently procures ammunition worth 60-80 billion rupees (USD718-960 million) annually, a sum that will now be exclusively sourced from local manufacturers. Sharma noted that foreign suppliers presently cater to only 5-10 percent of the army
's ammunition needs.

The move towards self-reliance in ammunition production aligns with India's broader defense strategy, which has seen concerted efforts to bolster indigenous capabilities over the past several years. Notably, emergency procurement powers granted to the military by the Defense Ministry
following key incidents, such as the Uri terrorist
attack in 2016, airstrikes
against Pakistan in 2019, and border skirmishes with Chinese troops
in 2020, have facilitated the rapid accumulation of spare parts and ammunition.

Looking ahead, the Indian Army has outlined a comprehensive roadmap for ammunition procurement over the next decade, amidst ongoing border tensions with China and geopolitical dynamics, including the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Given the substantial portion of the Indian Army's armored fleet sourced from Russia, the plan prioritizes reducing reliance on imports, diversifying supply sources, and fostering indigenous manufacturing capabilities.

This strategic shift underscores India's commitment to bolstering its defense industry, reducing dependency on foreign suppliers, and enhancing self-sufficiency in meeting its defense needs. As the nation charts a course towards greater indigenous production, the cessation of ammunition imports represents a pivotal milestone in India's quest for self-reliance in defense manufacturing.

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