India: A Defence and Security Primer


  • Alexander Atarodi
  • Eva Dalberg
  • Jerker Hellström
  • Lars Höstbeck
  • John Rydqvist

Publish date: 2010-06-18

Report number: FOI-R--2983--SE

Pages: 84

Written in: English


  • India
  • Pakistan
  • China
  • Military expenditure
  • Defence industry


India's rapid rise on the regional and global arena has far reaching implications. Long considered a country with limited global competitiveness in its economic structure and unable to feed its own people, India is now moving to become one of the world's largest economies, with a competitive service industry. While key parts of India are in rapid change, systemic legacy will persist and have influence over India in the foreseeable future. This report attempts to describe the Indian security and defence sector and how it is developing. India faces serious internal problems. The ethnic violence in some parts of the country needs to be addressed ant it is pointing to the challenge of minority politics that faces Indian society. Pakistan has ever since partition been a defining opponent and rival. Lately internal problems in Pakistan have changed and exacerbated the threat from terrorism and state failure. Yet the country does not pose an existential military threat to India. China, however, is New Delhi's future headache. China remains one of the main security challenges to India and is the most likely strategic threat to India's security in the future. India is one of the world's top ten countries in terms of defence expenditure and is the third-largest importer of military hardware. The country's cumulative imports of military hardware may have doubled to $80 billion by 2022. India aims at gaining knowledge and transfer technology in order to develop its indigenous defence technology industrial base. This is to be achieved through increases in spending on defence research and development (R&D). Currently about 70 per cent of defence equipment is imported. India's government opened up its monopolistic state-owned defence industry to private participation in 2001 and the role of the private sector should not be underestimated. India's latest Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP 2009) encourages leading domestic firms to bid for more production contracts and to establish joint ventures with foreign companies.