It was the military industrial set-up of Germany that enabled it to launch its offensive practically against the entire western world both in World War I and World War II. The real strength of the military industry of Germany was obtained through its capacity for self-reliance. This is now true of the United States, Russia, and China, which though not fully self-reliant in defence, wants to emulate the former two mentioned.
As for India, the most serious shortcoming in our defence set-up is our poor standing in the sector of defence indigenization. So backward is India in defence self-reliance that for the last 65 years it has not produced an acceptable rifle for the Infantry, or a main battle tank, a satisfactory field artillery gun (155mm), any fighter aircraft (except for HF24, which was grounded due to external political pressures on our government), advanced jet trainer engine, submarine, attack helicopter, or other major weapons support systems.
Hence, now, as Indian Army and Air Force started moving to forward locations, confronting the Chinese forces in Ladakh from April onwards, what caught everyone’s attention was Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Russia and the scramble for an agreement on the immediate delivery of 12 SU30 MKIs and 22 MiG 29 fighter aircraft. This highlighted once again India’s near total dependence on imports of all major weapons systems, be it the fighter or transport aircraft, artillery guns, tanks, air defence radars or other tactical signal and communication equipment. According to a report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), in the period between 2007 and 2011, India had met 80% of its defence needs by importing military hardware worth nearly US$12.7 bn. The situation was further compounded with a fall in the value of rupee and other economic constraints, which forced India to cancel some of its major defence imports like the indefinite postponement of the $20 bn 125 French Rafael fighter jets (MMRCA).