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 20 years.

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


  • 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.

  • 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.


  • 2002

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

  • 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.


  • 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.

  • 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.


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