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Modi's arms export ambitions depend on unblocking policy bottlenecks

Slow decision-making and production inhibit defense sector's embrace of 'Make in India'

India presents its Akash surface-to-air missile system at the DefExpo exhibition in the southern city of Chennai in April 2018. (Photo by Yuji Kuronuma)

CHENNAI, India -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims to turn his country into a major weapons exporter by attracting foreign investment and expertise, but India's lumbering bureaucracy and a complex procurement process stand in the way.

"India will not just manufacture for the purposes of import substitution, but will also boost defense production to export Indian-made defense products to countries around the world," Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said April 11 at DefExpo, a biennial defense exhibition that opened in the city of Chennai on the same day.

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