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Rising terrorist activities, border intrusion from Northern, Western and Eastern borders, civil unrest, increasing defense spending and growing localization of defense equipment have led for the growth of night vision devices (NVDs) in India. After the introduction of Government of India’s "Make in India" campaign in 2014, the defense sector witnessed entry of various international players.
According to 6Wresearch, India's NVD market is forecast to reach $215 million by 2022. In 2016, Indian government eased FDI limit in defense sector from 49% to 100%, which is expected to significantly boost domestic manufacturing of various equipment including night vision devices in the coming years. Additionally, domestic companies are collaborating with foreign counterparts for manufacturing state of the art NVDs for Indian armed forces.
Army application accounted for highest deployment of NVDs followed by air force and navy application. NVDs are primarily used by infantry units, armored division, mechanized infantry vehicle, and army aviation corps.
Prijo Samuel, Assistant Manager, Research and Consulting, 6Wresearch, said, "In India, NVDs are widely deployed in border security & surveillance segments, especially in regions such as northern, western and north-eastern. Government has earmarked nearly $12.9 billion for tri-services in defense budget 2016-17, which in turn is expected to drive the purchase of next-generation NVDs."
According to Akash Shukla, Research Analyst, Research and Consulting, 6Wresearch, the Indian government is set to invest about $80-100 billion in the next five to seven years for modernizing armed forces with new defense equipment and to replace obsolete ones.
Also, the Indian army is gradually raising 17th Mountain Strike Corps for guarding North-Eastern frontiers, where 90 units have been raised out of 250 sanctioned. Rest of the units are anticipated to be raised by 2021, which would drive the demand for NVDs through the forecast period.
"Presently, fixed-mounted NVDs accounted for highest revenue share owing to several defense upgrade projects including modernization of combat aircraft with next-generation avionics and night vision systems," Akash concluded.
The key players in India's night vision device market include Bharat Electronics, Elbit Systems, and Thales.