Defence Manufacturing — Dawn of a New Era?

Panel discussion on the subject with Air Marshal NV Tyagi, former Deputy Chief of Air Staff, Behera of IDSA and self, broadcast on Thursday, Nov 16

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 arms exports, asia-Pacific/Indo-Pacific, Asian geopolitics, civil-military relations, corruption, Culture, Decision-making, Defence Industry, DRDO, Europe, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Indian ecobomic situation, Indian Navy, Military Acquisitions, Military/military advice, society, South Asia, Technology transfer, United States, US., Weapons. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Defence Manufacturing — Dawn of a New Era?

  1. atulberet says:

    Dear Prof,

    Thanks for sharing a good discussion.

    I agree with you that we need to indigenize. BUt How is the question?

    Don’t really agree that private sector is the answer.

    We are expecting our private navratnas to produce submarines and aircraft when over the past 70 years they have failed to even produce a proper car. See the Tata and Ashok Leyland buses running on Delhi roads you’ll get the idea about their capability and sincerity. Their motive is profits and they will simply get it from abroad (even from China) or Pakistan to make profits. They are mere traders to expect them to be manufacturers is a bit too much.Our private sector will directly bribe the armed forces to accept whatever shoddy stuff they produce. The question is how much is our private sector ours?

    Best Regards

    Atul Bhardwaj Mobile: +91 9810473453

    • Aban says:

      Most of the Private Sector Navratnas and Maharatnas are run by Robber Barons . They are like Russian oligarchs and we expect them to perform like Japanese keiretsus !! Dont see much difference between PSU navaratna or a Pvt sector navaratna. There are ,of course, rare exceptions like L&T or Bharat Forge.

    • Adiyogi says:

      Do you really think that Tatas or Mahendras didn’t produce good cars? Yes they may not be best in the world…But as per our indian’s income levels, on which these people want to make cash on, they produced very good cars.

      This is what is the Indian mind set…We are always risk averse…Failures occur…We should face failures…It seems that we are always caught up in fear of failure or Arjuna Syndrome…Ayyayyo what will happen?

      You are saying private sector bribes Armed forces…Don’t you think foreign private players or lobbyists are not offering bribes? Look at Bofors or Augusta Westland…

  2. Atul says:

    Good discussion and solid points. India needs a lot more of such discussions on the difference between manufacturing and screw driving/assembling !! Pretty impressive. Keep hitting !!

  3. Rupam says:

    Maza aagaya Bharatji, ekdam bhigoke maara hai, I would love to see a discussion between the PM, DM and Bharatji and see how he takes them to task on the blunders they are making in the defense sector.

  4. Atul says:

    Have a look !!

    • Kya says:

      dear sir
      These days for last 30 years it is not in swiss banks that our traitirs deposit their stolen moony but rather in london and british tax havens of money laundering centre of london.
      Swiss are undeserervedly bad reputation while pirate race smirks.

  5. Aban says:

    Privatising DPSUs to L&T is a good option. But apart from L&T all other companies have questionable conduct. When it comes to TATA , reliance and Adani how do you safeguard against crony-capitalism. Given our record of corruption how do we ensure we dont have another Zombie like Hindustan Motors or those Andhra based infra contractors? What if it becomes a case where these Oligarchs under the patronage of the political class make money by making substandard products and a compromised and corrupt military officers and keep acquiring them.

  6. Kya says:

    È Mr. KARNAD for speaking on behalf of India .
    Such a rare thing to see in indian tv these days!.
    India is teeming with traitors .
    U derfunding DRDO and then abusing DRDo started under traitor mmsingh’ watch and instigation.

  7. Kya says:


    Russia., india and china, and many european countries aswell must pool their resources to defeat the angloamerican evil in the world.
    “”Khrushchev, of course, abused Bhutto and said should Pakistan look towards India or Afghanistan, the Soviets would take our eyes out. He (Bhutto) told Khrushchev not to get angry: Pakistan was ready to quit the pacts (South East Asia Treaty Organisation and Central Treaty Organisation).” -quote from zee news(april 21st ,2007) about ayub khan diary of 1960.

    ” DRDO have been under attack from vested interest — namely lobbies pushing for foreign defence acquisitions – from both within the Indian Army, middlemen and foreign agencies who would not like to see India to produce major weapon systems ingeniously.”

    great for DRDO.
    But there are some people in the media -mostly english langauge ones earning bribe from american patrons -who ware bent on deriding DRDO. Take the example of this traitor ajay shukla of business standard of 12/2/2007 who is hell bent that drdo should not be given any more money-he is ofcourse getting money from Boeing to pimp americans.
    web blog of this traitor-
    so are the media like toilet paper of india, indian express, economic times,economic express hinduistan times, and ofcourse british owned star tv and NDTv-thse all are typical inferioirity complex suffering indians whio lick their masters – angloamericans and do their bidding inside india .

    like this angloamerican agent—“Kapil Kak, director of the independent Centre for Strategic Studies think-tank, agreed.

    “Given the international security situation and emerging power configurations, a programme to develop ICBMs is definitely unsuited for India’s interests,” he said.

    “It would raise hackles in the US,” said Kak, a former air marshal.”

    so for this person raising the heckles of usa is more dangerous than leaving india open to blackmail from usa and threat(very real) that usa will one day attack or take over india through blackmail-considering the impotant prime ministers that india is good at producing we are already on way to becoming slave to american and not indian inrerests.)).


    india has to develop the ICMBs in order to protect herslef from angloamerican aggresion so where is this “question of antagonizing the west “comes into being? we certainly need to make the us guard agasint any aggrssion from the west mainly anglosaxon race..

    Buoyed by the successful test of a missile that can hit China, India says it can extend its nuclear range beyond Asia, but experts say it is unlikely to take such a step for fear of upsetting the West.

    Sources say the DRDO’s most treasured dream – denied in public – remains the development of an ICBM with a range of 15,000 kilometres, already christened Surya or sun, to match Chinese DF-3 ICBMs that can hit US cities. afp

    Russia., india and china, and some european countries as well (germany, france, italy etc) must pool their resources to defeat the anglo-american evils in the world.

    Now please read this underlined quote from an american paper.
    (From the Christian scince monitor of 12 th Feb,, 2007).

    •” Russia is already supplying India with the Sukhoi-30MKI, an advanced “fourth generation” warplane that consistently defeats its Western counterparts, such as the frontline US fighters, the F-15C and F-16. Versions of the Su-30 are also being sold to China, Venezuela, and Malaysia.”

    (christian scince monitor of 12th feb, 2007).

    Asked about the possible advantage the Gripen held over an aircraft like the F-16, Wagermark said: ‘I cannot imagine the IAF, which intends to obtain the highest quality aircraft available in the market, opting for the rather obsolete F-16 over the state-of-the-art Gripen.’

    The deal will involve IAF purchasing updated but otherwise obsolete design fighter which are at the fag end of their usefull life cycle in the country of origin for a sum of 6-9 billion dolars. (which means obsolete f-16 and f-18).
    so india is thrwoing away 7 billion dollars to please this treacherous prime monister’s masters– the americans.

    Feb 21 (PTI) The French Air Force team participating in Garuda III, a joint exercise here with their Indian counterparts, is impressed with the performance of the Sukhoi-30MKI comabt jet, particularly its vector controls.

  8. HF 24 Marut is such clear lesson learned. If we end up repeating the same story with Tejas, we deserve the respect or lack of it which we get. The idea of having private sector production lines for Tejas is such a simple Idea and so easily implementable to solve the numbers concern of the IAF.

    When IAF badmouths the Tejas on its specifications, someone should ask them who gave the specs in the first place? You wanted a small fighter now you want to compare it with larger fighters?

    Mr Karnad owned the discussion with some straight talk. “Screw driver technology”…..

  9. sanman says:

    In the Soviet Union, they used to have multiple design houses which would be pit against each other in competition, in order to motivate them to work harder. We cannot rely on mere honour system for DRDO to do its job properly. We are either need to have multiple such to compete against each other, or else somehow farm out contracts to private sector contestants.

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