India is trying to build a new defense ecosystem sharply reduce its reliance on foreign arms supplies and eventually become a major exporter of modern weapons, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a military innovation forum on Monday.

“We developed the habit of relying on foreign countries for even the simplest products. As drug addicts, we were addicted to products imported from abroad,” way said quoted by the ANI news agency.

Addressing a seminar organized by the Naval Indigenization and Innovation Organization (NIIO) and the Society of Indian Defense Manufacturers (SIDM), Modi said his government had embarked on a “mission” a “change this mentality” in 2014, and since then has not only increased India’s defense budget, but also ensured that a significant portion is diverted to “the development of the defense manufacturing ecosystem in the country itself”.

“Today, a large part of the budget for the purchase of defense equipment is spent on acquisitions of Indian companies,” he said. “In the last four or five years, our defense imports have been reduced by 21 percent. Today we are rapidly moving from the largest defense importer to a major exporter.”

While praising the Indian Navy for continually increasing its self-sufficiency, Modi said the “The goal must be to take India’s defense to unprecedented heights by the time we celebrate 100 years of Independence.”

“As India establishes itself on the world stage, there are constant attacks through misinformation, disinformation and false advertising.” he added, noting that “National defense is no longer limited to borders, but is much broader.”

Despite New Delhi’s policy of lessening its dependence on foreign supplies by developing the national defense sector and diversifying arms imports, Moscow remains its key partner, supplying almost half of the needs in recent years. five years. Russia has long been a major supplier of arms to India, especially the more complex weapons systems such as fighter jets and attack submarines. Since at least the 2000s, it has been the top arms dealer in New Delhi, with the exception of last year, when France took the lead.

The United States, Israel and the United Kingdom are also among the main suppliers. Earlier this year, the US government reportedly tried to persuade India to slow down its defense cooperation with Russia by offering New Delhi a military assistance package that could be worth up to $500 million, according to Bloomberg. Washington has also refused to impose sanctions against India for buying advanced Russian S-400 air defense systems. This contrasted with its treatment of China and even NATO ally Turkey, which were sanctioned for buying the same weapons.

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