Ahead of the DefExpo 2022, the government on Thursday (March 3, 2022) has accorded in-principle approval to four projects which are under Make-I (this is funded by the government) and five projects under Make-II (this is industry-funded) categories of Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020. According to an official statement issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), in a landmark decision, the projects received Approval – in – Principle (AIP) which was decided by the Collegiate Committee of MoD. Under this, the industry will be provided financial support for prototype development of these projects.
Know which projects received AIP
For the Indian Air Force (IAF): approval has been given for Communication Equipment with Indian Security Protocols. This includes the Switches, Routers, VoIP Phones and their software and Encryptors.
Also, airborne stand-off jammer, Airborne Electro Optical pod with Ground Based System, for the IAF.
And, for the Indian Army the long awaited Indian Light Tank. As has been reported earlier, in 2021, the MoD had released Request for Information (RfI) for 350 light tanks. The decision to have these tanks was taken in view of the 22 months standoff between the Indian and Chinese forces in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The Chinese side has deployed a light tank, the Type 15 or ZTQ 15.
The Indian Army has stationed its heavy weight T-90 tanks in Ladakh and this was in addition to the T-72 tanks, which according to information available in the public domain weighs around 45 tonnes.
The Light Tank Indian army is looking for and is now planning to build in India is expected to weigh around 25 tonnes, amphibious, easily transportable, by air, road and water route and should have state-of-the-art and cutting edge technology and protection systems, armament and protection systems. It should have the capability to operate in different terrains including high-altitude places.
According to the Ministry of Defence, this is the first time that the Indian industry has now been involved in the development of big ticket platforms like Communication Equipment with Indian Security Protocols as well as Light Tanks. Larsen and Toubro and a South Korean company are already talking about these tanks.
Five projects which will be funded by the industry under the Make-II procedure received AIP.
The IAF Full Motion Simulator for Apache Helicopter; Wearable Robotic Equipment for Aircraft Maintenance; and the Full Motion Simulator for Chinook Helicopter have received AIP.
For the Indian Army one of the biggest projects that received the AIP is Autonomous Combat Vehicle; and Integrated Surveillance and Targeting System for Mechanised Forces
More about Make-II category
Under this, the government does not provide any funding for the development of the prototype.
The industry has to fund the whole prototype development of the equipment/system and their platform. Under this the expenses have to be met by the industry for their upgrades or their sub-systems/sub-assembly/assemblies/components. These are mainly going to help as import substitution and innovative solutions.
How will this help?
With the development of the prototype, design capabilities, the country will move towards self-reliance.