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India Bans Use of Chinese Parts on Military Drones Over Security Concerns

The Indian government has prohibited local manufacturers from integrating Chinese components into military drones over fears of “security vulnerabilities.”

Defense industry representatives told Reuters that the country’s leaders are concerned that intelligence-gathering could be compromised if Chinese-made parts are installed on its unmanned aerial systems.

Functions that could be affected include the drones’ cameras, communications, radio transmission, and operating software.

Indian military officials have reportedly told potential drone bidders that subcomponents from “countries sharing land borders with India” will not be acceptable after discovering “security loopholes.”

Although not specified, sources said the loopholes compromised New Delhi’s critical military data.

Drone vendors must now disclose the origin of every component used when submitting proposals to the Indian military.


The Indian government has invested greatly in modernizing its armed forces while supporting local manufacturers.

It has earmarked 1.6 trillion rupees ($19.77 billion) to procure weapons and equipment this year.

The ban on Chinese-made components would reportedly raise the cost of developing military drones since it will force local manufacturers to source components from companies with higher prices.

Additionally, there could be delays because India relies heavily on foreign manufacturers.

A government-funded program to produce a fully-indigenous Medium Altitude Long Endurance drone has been delayed by at least five years due to the unavailability of locally-made engines.

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