Posting here what I had quite sometime back written on my forum
For about three decades India has been struggling with design and development of defence products. The success record is patchy. Below par products, budget overruns and more importantly time overruns.
India for a better part of the three decades was under international technology denial regime. Considering that, we can say that a lot has been achieved. But for a country like India it clearly isn’t enough.-
After the second world war both the Soviets and the US managed to get hold of a lot of German technology and more importantly, the top scientists. Wernher von Braun was one such prized catch for the US. The father of the Vengeance missiles of Nazi Germany better known as V1 and the V2. Von Braun moved to the US and produced rockets that resulted in the US putting man on the moon. This is but just one example. Under operation Paperclip, the US got hundreds of Nazi German scientists, engineers and technicians. Similarly the Soviets had their own-Operation Osoaviakhim. The soviets and the Americans got a massive amount of -brainpower to develop next generation of weapons. The money they had was invested well in R&D.-
America as a free country continued to attract intelligent people from across the world who work in the various fields directly or indirectly linked to the defence industry.
Well India didn’t have any such luxury as India was under the British and after independence, india mounted its own indigenous programs in various fields -including nuclear, missile,space technology as well as other weapons system. Like is said some successful and some not so successful.
However the most important lesson for India is what happened in late 1950s. Kurt Tank arrived in India and India produced its first fighter aircraft the HF24 Marut. International sanctions hurt the project that it didn’t get proper engine, but there in lies India’s solution. Hire brains from around the world. For the better part of the last 10 years, India has been signing up projects with ToT with foreign partners. Now the focus has moved to joint ventures. But what India has to continue to endeavor is indigenous R & D and weapons development. India has been spending top dollars on foreign weapons system. Indian research and local talent pool has not been good enough to quickly give what India needs. India would do well to use the huge amount it spends on defence to seek and hire foreign scientist, engineers and technicians to work in India giving them more than a mouthful of money and also make R&D centers for them based on what they need. India had and probably still has te opportunity to get Soviet/Russian minds who are now idle because of the problems in Russia. India could also target it’s own expat crowd working in the US in particular by offering top dollars as well as recruit and retain best Indian minds with monetary incentives. -Even retired scientists from abroad could be brought in as consultants.
The Russians could come in handy to develop tanks, fighters and more importantly engines.-
India needs more Kurt Tanks to fast forward it’s indigenous defence industry. Particularly as its principle rival China marches ahead.