The history of Indian defence in the recent years is dotted with good and not-so-good stories. While on the one end, the defence sector reached new heights with the launch of several indigenously-developed capabilities across armed, naval and air forces. Scams and high-level of corruption marred the image of defence sector. At present, India is one of the largest defence importers in the world sourcing over 70 per cent of requirements from other countries. However, this will have to change if India has to become self sufficient in its defence capabilities. One argument in favour is to further open up the sector but a lot depends upon the easiness of the
new government with that decision.

Business Today draws up a timeline of important events that took place in

Indian defence over the last 12 years.

  • 1. Capital Outlay on Defence Services of Rs 1,13,734 crore in the budget estimates for the year 2021



  • 1. Import of defence equipment that are not being manufactured in India are being exempted from the basic customs duty



  • 1. Defence budget will be crossing Rs 3 lakh crore for the first time ever in 2019-20

    2. Substantial hike in the Military Service Pay (MSP) of all service personnel and special allowances given to Naval and Air Force personnel deployed in high risk duties


  • 1. Proposed two industrial defence industrial development corridors in 2018-19

    2. Allocates Rs 2.95 lakh crores , increase of 7.81% over last year's Rs 2.76 lakh crores

    3. Capital outlay for the three defence services for purchase of new weapons, aircraft, warships and other military hardware has been pegged at Rs 99,947 crore.

    4. Revenue expenditure, which covers payment of salary, maintenance of establishments and other related expenditure, has been pegged at Rs 1,95,947 crore.


  • 1. For defence expenditure excluding pensions, provided a sum of Rs 2,74,114 crore including Rs 86,488 crore for defence capital.

    2. A comprehensive web based interactive Pension Disbursement System for Defence Pensioners will be established.

    3. Allocation of Rs 3,000 crore for Optical Fibre Cable based network for Defence Services


  • 1. Customs duties exemption on direct imports of specified goods for defence purposes by government of India or state governments being withdrawn, with effect from 01.04.2016

    2. Basic customs duty exemption on specified goods imported by contractors of government of India PSUs or sub-contractors of such PSUs for defence purposes being withdrawn, with effect from 01.04.2016


  • Allocation for defence for 2015-16 raised to Rs 2,46,727 crore against Rs 2,22,370 crore in previous financial year.


  • Currently 26 per cent FDI is permitted in defence manufacturing. The composite cap of foreign exchange is being raised to 49 per cent with full Indian management and control through the FIPB route.


  • 2013

    AgustaWestland chopper deal scam broke out last year when it was found that alleged kickbacks were given. Later, the deal was scrapped by the government.

  • INS Arihant, India's first nuclear-powered submarine, was launched.
    Mumbai-based Adarsh Society came into limelight after it was alleged that senior bureaucrats, army officers and politicians were allotted flats in the society that was originally proposed to be given to the widows of Kargil war.


  • 2002

    The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) was issued to streamline the acquisition process and transform the efficiency and transparency of defence acquisitions.

  • The defence sector was opened for private sector participation, with 100 per cent private sector ownership permissible and FDI of up to 26 per cent.
    Tejas, India's first indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) took its maiden flight.


  • 1999

    Kargil War, which took place between May 8 and July 14, was fought when Pakistani forces and Kashmiri militants were detected atop the Kargil ridges.

  • Pokhran-II, a series of five nuclear bomb tests conducted at Pokhran (Rajasthan) under the prime minister Atal Bihari Vajypayee regime.