India is running out of military weapons and equipment due to the government’s “Make in India” initiative, officials have revealed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s push to make the country “self-reliant” in defense has reportedly made New Delhi vulnerable to threats from near-peer adversaries China and Pakistan.
According to sources, the Indian Air Force, Army, and Navy can no longer import critical weapons to replace aging ones due to program restrictions.
Military officials estimate that the country will be left critically short of helicopters by 2026 and fighter jets by 2030.
The Indian Ministry of Defence has yet to issue a statement on the matter.
Problems With Self-Reliance
India has increased its acquisition of indigenously-built defense systems to bolster its military capabilities.
However, the nation has yet to produce more complex platforms such as diesel-electric submarines and twin-engine fighters for use by its military.
The Indian Air Force had planned to purchase aircraft from foreign manufacturers to address the shortage in local supply, but the Modi government shelved the plan, wanting the service to opt for locally-built fighter jets.
But state-owned defense manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited can only produce eight Tejas fighters each year. Production delays are also expected due to supply-chain disruptions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
If not addressed, sources say the Indian Air Force may have fewer than 30 fighter squadrons by 2030 — well below the 42 needed to protect its borders with China and Pakistan.