Defense Sector Gets ₹2.23 Lakh Crore Boost: Upgraded Jets, Artillery Guns, and Helicopters for Indian Forces

Defense Sector Gets ₹2.23 Lakh Crore Boost: Upgraded Jets, Artillery Guns, and Helicopters for Indian Forces

The Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, granted approval on Thursday for Acceptance of Necessity (AoNs) for various capital acquisition proposals totaling ₹2.23 lakh crore.

Out of the total, acquisitions amounting to ₹2.20 lakh crore (98 percent) will be sourced from domestic industries, marking a significant step towards enhancing the self-reliance of the Indian Defence Industry.

The council approved AoNs for the procurement of two types of Anti-tank Munitions, namely Area Denial Munition (ADM) Type – 2 and Type-3, designed to neutralize tanks, armored personnel carriers, and enemy personnel.

To replace the Indian Field Gun (IFG), which has completed its service life, AoN was granted for the procurement of a state-of-the-art Towed Gun System (TGS), set to become a mainstay for the Artillery forces of the Indian Army.

Furthermore, AoN was accorded for the 155 mm Nubless projectile for use in 155 mm Artillery guns, enhancing the lethality and safety of the projectiles. All these equipment for the Indian Army will be procured under the Buy (Indian-IDDM) category.

The DAC also approved AoNs for the procurement and integration of Automatic Target Tracker (ATT) and Digital Basaltic Computer (DBC) for T-90 Tanks under the Buy (India) category, aiming to maintain a combative edge for T-90 tanks over adversary platforms.

In addition, AoNs were granted for the procurement of Medium Range Anti-Ship Missiles (MRAShM) for the surface platform of the Indian Navy under the Buy (Indian-IDDM) category. The MRAShM is envisioned as a lightweight Surface-to-Surface Missile, serving as the primary offensive weapon on Indian Naval Ships.

The DAC also granted AoNs for the procurement of Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army, as well as Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk 1A for IAF from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under the Buy (Indian-IDDM) category. Additionally, AoNs were accorded by the DAC for the indigenous upgradation of Su-30 MKI Aircraft from HAL.

This procurement of equipment is expected to strengthen the IAF significantly, while sourcing from domestic defence industries will elevate indigenous capabilities and reduce dependence on foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

Moreover, the DAC approved a major amendment in the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020. Going forward, in all categories of procurement cases, a minimum of 50 percent indigenous content, in the form of material, components, and software manufactured in India, is mandated. The calculation of indigenous content will exclude the cost of Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC)/Comprehensive Maintenance Contract (CMC)/After Sale Service.

The DAC also decided to encourage start-ups/MSMEs participation in the defence ecosystem further. For all procurement cases with AoN cost up to ₹300 crore, registered MSMEs and recognized start-ups will be considered for the issuance of Request for Proposal (RFP) without any stipulation of financial parameters. This can be relaxed, with the approval of the Defence Procurement Board (DPB), for AoN cost up to ₹500 crore on a case-by-case basis.