Indigenization and the Indian Navy

Passing strange that there has has been so little  (or no) coverage of the Navarms2013 symposium in Delhi January 31-Feb 1. The Navarms meet is apparently a once in 3 years affair (last held in 2007 and 2010).  There have been some interesting nuggets dropped from the panel by senior naval officers. VCNS VADM RK Dhowan revealed that full indigenization in warship production were in percentage terms — 80-90% in the “float” (hull, body work) category, 60% in the “move” (propulsion), and only 30-40% in the4 “fight” (weapons) category. He also iterated that old saw reflecting the navy’s policy — an excuse really to keep relying on foreign supplied products  — that indigenization would not be at the expense of the “combative edge”. CNS ADM DK Joshi, who followed, however, called Dhowan’s figures in the three indigenization categories “generous”, implying that these percentages in reality were lower — how much lower he didn’t say. He did mention the quite serious deficits in the indigenous efforts in “gas turbine” propulsion, weapons systems, and fire-control systems.  Even with the foreign-supplied whole assemblies, armaments, and so on Dhowan said that 43 of the 45 warships the navy had ordered (with Vikramaditya and another vessel in Russian yards), were under construction in Indian shipyards. This is a solid beginning. DefMin Antony was his usual self — incomprehensible in reading out his prepared speech!

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in Defence Industry, DRDO, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Navy, Relations with Russia, russian assistance, South Asia, Strategic Relations with South East Asia & Far East, Technology transfer. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Indigenization and the Indian Navy

  1. RV says:

    Mr. Karnad, at least the IN supports the LCA (a very fine a/c) more than the IAF, though the naval LCA appears to be further off from operational service than the AF version. No other service has supported indigenization for than the IN. As you are well aware, a naval architect has the prospects of rising to the rank of Vice Adm. in the IN. Similar talent would be “tarred and feathered” in the IA or IAF. If it were possible for Indian companies and PSU’s to adequately bribe the politicians, bureaucrats, and senior IAF brass, you’d probably have a long and riotous line headed by the Clown Prince and Charlie Brown waiting outside ADA/HAL to but the LCA.

    • You have anticipated my next column that was supposed to appear last Thursday (Jan 25) in ‘Ásian Age’but is now scheduled for Monday, Feb 4.

      • RV says:

        Thanks I take it as a compliment (deservedly or otherwise)! But its the plain straightforward truth. BTW, however incomprehensible he may be, AKA often keeps the coolies in the US lobby at bay! You of all people must surely know that A5 was tested partially because of his insistence. He told Raytheon to “get stuffed” in the Javelin matter, when they started dictating terms. A similar strategy worked in the GE F-414 engine deal for the LcA Mk. II, when the most ludicrous demands were made by the US. So, he serves an important utility too! With the Obama-Kerry-Pakistan ménage à trois, such persons are required to stall any moves by the coolie lobby from selling out Indian interests by thwarting, frustrating, and getting any initiative by the coolie lobby mired down via the good old Indian bureaucratic “chai biskut” strategy. If India and China have differences, then let the differences be solved through any acceptable manner solely between India and China, and not because of the baleful influence on some Indian coolies by a third-power whose propensity to commit perfidy is legendary and limitless, and whose self-righteousness is nauseating. Let us not have any repeat performances of the B. N. Mullick type.

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