In a first-of-its-kind deal for a domestic private defence manufacturing firm, leading defence manufacturer Bharat Forge on Wednesday(November 9, 2022) said that its subsidiary Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd had secured an export order worth USD 155 million for the supply of a 155mm artillery platform. Though confidential, a Middle East country could be its recipient.
This is the first order for a domestic company in which a 155mm artillery system will be supplied to an unknown friendly country.
Quoting Bharat Forge’s statement, PTI reported, “We are pleased to inform you that Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company, has been awarded an export order for a 155mm artillery platform.”
The statement, without providing the details of the customer, further said, “the order is for a “non-conflict zone” and that it is a “great testament” to the government’s ‘Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) agenda.
The details of the customer or the number of guns to be exported remain confidential. However, many believe that the potential buyer of the artillery system could be Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom has in early 2020 shown interest in purchasing the Kalyani group’s artillery guns Bharat 52, Garuda V2.
The deal will give a major push to the Aatmanirbharta in the defence sector as well as will boost India’s target of defence export worth $5 Billion by 2025, as envisioned by PM Narendra Modi.
This is the second big order in which India will export military equipment to a foreign country. Earlier in September 2022, India signed a $250 million government-to-government deal to export the sophisticated Pinaka Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher system to Armenia.
India is gradually transforming itself into a net defence exporter country, as evident from the fact that it has clocked defence exports worth Rs 38500 crore since 2014.
In the first six months of the current financial year, India has registered defence exports worth Rs 8,000 crore and is looking to reach the target of Rs 35,000 crore in defence export by 2025.
The government has taken several steps in promoting indigenous defence firms, including the positive indigenization lists, under which certain defence equipment can only be procured from domestic defence firms. With the 4th positive indigenization list, which came in October 2022, the total tally of defence items that can now only be procured from domestic manufacturers has reached 411.