Just a day before the end of the FY 2023, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) firmed up deals for military equipment and weapons with various Defence PSUs to the tune of Rs 32,086 crore several crores which will help boost the operational capabilities of the Indian Armed Forces.
Agreements signed on March 30, 2023
The bulk of contracts inked were for the Indian Navy, however, the wait for Fleet Support Ship continues.
The Indian Navy will get 11 Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NG-OPV) and six Next Generation Missile Vessels (NGMV). And also BrahMos supersonic missiles which are meant for coastal defence for the Navy.
And for the Indian Army there is the improved version of Akash Surface to Air missile system and also 12 Swathi Weapon Locating Radars (WLR).
According to the MoD official statement, a contract was inked with Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata for the acquisition of 11 NG-OPVs at a total cost of Rs 9,781 crore. Out of the 11 NG-OPVs seven of them will be designed, developed and manufactured by GSL and GRSE will get the balance four and the delivery is expected to start from September 2026.
How will these help the navy?
According to the MoD these new generation OPVs will strengthen navy’s combat capability and also help to meet different operational requirements including anti-trafficking, non-combatant evacuation operations, Search and Rescue (SAR), anti-piracy, protection of offshore assets, anti-poaching and counter-infiltration.
NG Missile Vessels for navy
A contract worth Rs 9,805 crore for acquiring six NGMVs (next generation Missile vessels) was inked on Thursday with Cochin Shipyard
These high speed heavily armed war vessels will be incorporating stealth, and offensive capability, and their primary role will be to provide offensive capability against land targets, enemy warships and merchantmen, stated the MoD statement.
These vessels are expected to be a potent instrument of sea denial for enemy ships especially at choke points, said the MoD and will be capable of carrying out anti-surface warfare operations, and maritime strike operations.
Lynx-U2 Fire Control Systems
Another major contract inked was worth Rs 1,700 crore with Bangalore based Bharat Electronics
Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (NGMMCB) (Long range) & BrahMos
A contract worth Rs 1,700 crore was signed with BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL) for procurement of Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (NGMMCB) (Long range) and BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles. And the delivery schedule of NGMMCBs is set to start in 2027.
Improved Akash Weapon System
A contract has been signed with Bharat Dynamics
Improved environmental parameters, seeker technology, reduced footprint and 360 degree engagement capability will help the Indian army meet aerial threats especially along the Northern borders.
There is almost 82 percent of indigenous content and this will go up to 93 percent by 2026-27. According to the statement 60 percent of the cost will be awarded to the private industry including the MSMEs, in maintaining the supply chain of the weapon system and thereby creating large scale direct and indirect employment.
Swathi WLR (Plains)
Another Rs 990 crore contract has been signed for WLR Swathi (Plains) with BEL which is indigenously designed and is capable of locating mortars, guns and rockets firing its own troops. This will facilitate their destruction through counter bombardment by their own firepower resources. The induction is planned in 24 months.
Also a contract for the navy has been signed at a cost of Rs 410 crore with BEL for the acquisition of Sarang Electronic Support Measure (ESM) systems, with its associated engineering support package.
It has been reported earlier this month that the CCS had approved to sign an agreement with L&T for acquiring three cadet training ships at a cost of Rs 3,108.09 crore.
Though the indigenous acquisition for the armed forces this fiscal is expected to cross more than 68 percent, yet the ministry has not been able to use up the entire Capital budget allocation.