Brahma Chellaney a strategic analyst in this article in the Hindustan Times has made a startling revelation that the entire amount spent by the Indian Government on the Missile development program since its inception in 1983 to date is just about $400 million!!. This is the same amount that Bill Gates offered as loose change to Sabeer Bhatia to acquire Hotmail.com in 1998.
“It might shock many to know that India’s cumulative investments in its missile capabilities total barely 5.6 per cent of what it will cost to buy the F-16s. The entire investment in the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) from its 1983 inception up to December 2005 aggregated Rs 1771.4 crore, or $ 389 million.”
Phew!! that’s what India’s security is worth in the eyes of our Political establishment which has also now gone ahead and shelved the Agni-3 program for the time being. That is till they can find out a way to make money from it, perhaps by buying some “foreign component” to power it though the full technical competence to make it work is very much within the grasp of our scientific community.
If one is inclined to believe that such triffling amounts of expenditure is due to some sort of funds crunch. Think again!!
“India may be poor, but its decision-makers are pretty generous in awarding arms contracts to foreign vendors. Like oil sheikhs, they are now signing import deals worth between $ 4 billion and $ 6 billion every year”.
The matter is very simple it is spelled as “K I C K B A C K S”. If you buy equipment worth billions from foreign arms manufactures they shell out a considerable percentage as bribes in discrete offshore numbered accounts. Almost every defence deal is tainted with this disease. Bofors was the first to cause a major hulla baloo but it is safe to say that every defence deal since the 1950s is tainted.
In this scenario the Indian Defence Research establishment gets a very raw deal
“By the levels of OECD nations and China, India’s defence R&D spending is abysmally low. China spends 28 per cent of its huge military budget on R&D and an extra 5 per cent just on missiles. India together spends 6.1 per cent of its defence outlays on R&D and missiles”.“India awarded a $ 1.9 billion contract to BAE Systems for the out-of-date Hawk jet trainer. But the total DRDO budget for the current year is just 63 per cent of that — $ 1.19 billion. Out of this, 35 per cent, or a meagre $ 419 million, will go toward developing capabilities at the core of India’s future: nuclear, missile and nuclear-submarine systems”.
Isn’t it in India’s National Security and Strategic Interests to make sure that it has a robust indigenous Defence Industry? Why is the country’s interests being compromised to line the pockets of the corrupt ruling class?