Indigenous production of Defence Equipments in INDIA; transformation from Regional power to Global power #Hindustan360


As India is gaining power it is increasing its purchasing power as well with several high-end defence deals either in the pipeline or being envisioned to strengthen India’s force structure. View more at #Hindustan360.

Estimates show that the Indian Air Force will have more than 1000 fighter jets and around 60 squadrons by 2030. India will be spending more than USD 80 billion on capital acquisitions in the 2010-2015 timeframe.

The Indian government is very clear and focused in its vision for its defence sector – indigenization of the industry and acquiring advanced technologies which will in turn help to reduce dependence on imports from other countries around the world. In nitty-gritty, it would create a ripple effect that the government is hoping to initiate in this sector. In this evolving Defence value chain it would be unfair to ignore the role that human resource skills, Research and Development (R&D) and the long standing small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Defence Public Sector Units (DPSUs) suppliers and ordinance boards are going to play.

41 Indian Ordnance Factories working with Defence Manufacturing

The Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence is responsible for the indigenous production of equipment used by the Indian Armed Forces. It comprises the 41 Indian Ordnance Factories under control of the Ordnance Factories Board and 8 Defence PSUs namely HAL, BEL, BEML, BDL, MDL, GSL, GRSE and Midhani.

The East India Company considered military hardware to be a vital element for securing their economic interest in India and increasing their political power. In 1775 British authorities accepted the establishment of the Board of Ordnance at Fort William, Calcutta. This marks the official beginning of the Army Ordnance in India.

In 1787 a gunpowder factory was established at Ichapore; it began production in 1791, and the site was later used as a rifle factory beginning in 1904. In 1801, Gun Carriage Agency (now known as Gun & Shell Factory, Cossipore) was established at Cossipore, Calcutta, and production began on 18 March 1802. This is the oldest ordinance factory in India still in existence.

Major Public & Private Sector Undertakings In Defence Sector

  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) – Design, development, manufacture, repair and overhaul of aircraft, helicopters, engines and their accessories.
  • Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) – Design, development and manufacture of sophisticated state-or-the-art electronic equipment components for the use of the defence services, para-military organizations and other government users.
  • Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) – Multi-product Company engaged in the design and manufacture of a wide range of equipment including specialized heavy vehicles for defence and re-engineering solutions in automotive and aeronautics.
  • Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) – Submarines, missile boats, destroyers, frigates and corvettes for the Indian Navy.
  • Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE) – Builds and repairs warships and auxiliary vessels for the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard.
  • Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) – Missiles, torpedo counter measure system, counter measures dispensing system.
  • Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI) – Aeronautics, space, armaments, atomic energy, navy special products like molybdenum wires and plates, titanium and stainless steel tubes, alloys etc.
  • Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) – Builds a variety of medium size, special purpose ships for the defence, Indian Coast Gaurd (ICG) and civil sectors.
  • Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TAS) – Design, manufacture and supply of composite components, sub-assemblies for applications in aerospace division and solutions for personal armour, vehicle armour and special applications.
  • Larsen and Toubro – Design, development and manufacture of integrated land based /naval combat/missile systems, defence electronics & control systems and integrated naval engineering systems.
  • Kirloskar Brothers – Infrastructure projects (water supply, power plants, irrigation), project and engineered pumps, industrial pumps.
  • Mahindra Defence Systems – Total solutions for the range of light combat/armoured vehicles, simulators for weapons & weapon systems, sea mines, small arms, variants and associated ammunition.
  • Ashok Leyland – Design, development and manufacture of special vehicles, serving Indian Armed Forces and international customers such as US army.

There is also a new enthusiasm in India’s public sector enterprises. For acquiring self reliance – cutting across the barriers of public and private sectors, the Indian Defence Ministry can perhaps take a leaf from the experience of ISRO which outsources components, hardware and sub-systems for its launch vehicles and satellites from the Indian industrial units, both in the private and public sectors.



The production of Indian defence equipments prior to 2011 was completely in the hands of the Government of India. The Government of India also opened up the Foreign direct investment to 49% from the existing 26% and thereby increasing flow of funds from foreign countries. With the increase in FDI cap, private players such as companies from many developed countries will also be attracted to the Indian defence economy as they can have share in the Indian defence Companies.

Name Specialization Revenue (As of 2015) Employees (As of 2015)
Bharat Dynamics Ammunition and Missile systems ?32.81 billion (US$490 million) 3,183
Bharat Electronics Avionics ?70.93 billion (US$1.1 billion) 9,952
Bharat Earth Movers Transport ?28.02 billion (US$420 million)
Defence Research and Development Organisation Research and Development ?103 billion (US$1.5 billion) 30,000
Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Naval ships ?16.94 billion (US$250 million) 3,133
Goa Shipyard Shipbuilding ?6.81 billion (US$100 million)
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Aerospace manufacturer ?177.53 billion (US$2.6 billion) 32,108
Mazagon Dock Limited Shipbuilding
Mishra Dhatu Nigam Metallurgy
Ordnance Factories Board Defence Equipment and Support ?162.46 billion (US$2.4 billion) 1,64,000

View more at #Hindustan360.