The increasing use of information technology (IT) for secure and real-time communication and efficient human and machine management in the armed forces presents tremendous growth opportunities for the Indian IT sector. Although there is a lack of large system integrators in the country, Indian firms are moving up the value chain via tie-ups with foreign defense majors by leveraging offset obligations.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (aerospace.frost.com), Executive Analysis of IT Opportunities in Indian Defense Market, finds that India's defense budget will cross $50.00 billion by 2015.
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The armed forces modernization program will drive growth through direct as well as offset opportunities. "Modernization of the forces aims to equip the futuristic individual soldier with hand-held computing devices, encrypted communication, thermal sensors and night vision devices, as well as to integrate these devices with the command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) systems at the command level for improved tactical decision-making," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Associate Aditya Desai. "Given that India's armed force is one of the largest in the world, the modernization program will create both long-term and large-scale opportunities for the Indian IT sector."
Between 2011 and 2015, India's defense budget is expected to grow at more than 8 per cent year-on-year. India is projected to spend approximately $54 billion on foreign arms and equipment procurements, which will also generate offset opportunities worth $18 billion.
The massive increase in the armed forces inventory, with the procurement of medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA), helicopters and naval vessels and submarines will create avenues for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), enterprise asset management (EAM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions. The demand for secure and real-time communication between units on the battlefield among the three service arms and between the armed forces and the back-end staff will be the most important driving factor for the combat system segment.
"All modern weapons and equipment are IT-intensive," adds Desai. "This trend, along with their afterlife management, requires complex enterprise resource planning (ERP) and EAM suites customized to the requirements of the Indian defense forces."
While the IT opportunities in the Indian defense market are expected to witness robust growth over the forecast period, bureaucratic and procedural delays, as well as high customization requirements will restrain the rate of market growth.
The lack of expertise in combat systems will also rein in the possibility of higher growth rates. Indian IT firms do not possess the knowledge base and the expertise necessary to independently develop critical combat systems such as tactical communications systems or battlefield management systems.
"While currently, the joint venture or consortia strategy is being adopted to overcome this challenge, it is imperative that market participants invest in R&D to develop these capabilities," advises Desai.
Executive Analysis of IT Opportunities in Indian Defense Market is part of the Defense Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Executive Analysis of the Indian Defense Industry and Strategic Analysis of DPP – 2011 & Real Term opportunities Through Indian Defense Offsets. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Executive Analysis of IT Opportunities in Indian Defense Market / P407-16
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