The procurement would include sophisticated Electronic Warfare Systems for the Indian Army that are designed by the DRDO and manufactured locally by the Indian industry.
In a major fillip to ‘Make in India’ initiative in the Defence sector, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approved the procurement of military equipment from indigenous sources worth over Rs 5,100 crore. The procurement of military equipment would include sophisticated Electronic Warfare Systems for the Indian Army that are designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured locally by the Indian industry. These Electronic Warfare Systems will be used to provide comprehensive electronic support and countermeasure capabilities to bolster communications and other facets of electronic warfare.
The DAC also gave a go-ahead to the prototype testing of trawl assemblies designed by the DRDO for T-72 and T-90 tanks. This indigenous addition will significantly improve the Army’s capabilities of clearing landmines.
The council also gave a go-ahead to the construction of six conventional submarines for the Navy in India under the ambitious strategic partnership model. The DAC approved shortlisting of Indian Strategic Partners (SP) and their potential Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) collaborators for the manufacture of these six submarines. This programme will be undertaken on the ‘Strategic Partnership Model’ that was promulgated in 2017 to bolster Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative in the Defence sector.
A Ministry of Defence statement elaborated on the role of the SPs in the initiative, saying that they are expected to play a pivotal role in the creation of an eco-system in the country that would be made up of development entities, specialised vendors and suppliers — especially those from the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. The SP model aims to create an eco-system of R&D and manufacturing that would meet future requirements of the Indian Armed Forces, establish India as a manufacturing hub for defence equipment and boost exports, the statement added.
An approval for adding Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDex) in defence procurement procedure was also accorded during the DAC meeting. This would ease the process for startups and innovators to raise capital to fund their innovations aimed at the Indian Armed Forces.
Notably, this was as the first DAC meet attended by General Bipin Rawat since his appointment as the Chief of Defence Staff.