The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Saturday approved procurement worth Rs46,000 crore for the three armed forces.
In a landmark decision, it approved procurement of 111 utility helicopters for the Indian Navy costing over Rs21,000 crore, making it the first project under the defence ministry’s strategic partnership (SP) model that aims at boosting the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme.
The SP Model envisages indigenous manufacturing of major defence platforms by an Indian strategic partner, who will collaborate with foreign OEMs, acquire niche technologies and set up production facilities in the country.
The model has a long-term vision of promoting India as a manufacturing hub for defence equipment to enhance self-sufficiency and establishing an industrial and R&D ecosystem, capable of meeting the future requirements of the armed forces.
The contract, when finalized, would result in a vibrant and wide-spread defence industrial eco-system in the Indian aviation sector with the private sector and MSMEs as major stakeholders.
The DAC also approved proposals amounting to approximately Rs24,879.16 crore, which included approval for procurement of 150 indigenously designed and developed 155 mm advanced towed artillery gun systems worth Rs3,364.78 crore for the Indian Army.
These guns have been indigenously designed and developed by DRDO and will be manufactured by manufacturers as nominated by DRDO. They are likely to be the mainstay of artillery in the near future. A nod to these major schemes will provide a fillip to the ‘Make in India’ programme.
To enhance the capability of the Navy, 24 anti-submarine capable multi-role helicopters, integral to the frontline warships like the aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates, and corvettes.
In addition, procurement of 14 Vertically Launched Short Range Missile Systems has also been cleared by the DAC. Of these, 10 systems will be indigenously developed. These systems will boost the self-defence capability of ships against anti-ship missiles.