India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) accorded approval for procurement of equipment worth over Rs 5,100 crore ($716 million) from indigenous sources.
The DAC, headed by Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh, met on Jan. 21 in New Delhi to make the decision regarding the procurement. This was the first DAC meeting of the year and the first one after the constitution of Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS).
The equipment approved for procurement include sophisticated Electronic Warfare (EW) systems designed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured locally by the Indian industry for the Indian Army. These systems will be used in deserts and plains and will provide comprehensive Electronic Support and Counter Measure (ESM) capabilities to the field formations in both communication and other aspects of Electronic Warfare.
The DAC also approved prototype testing of trawl assemblies designed by DRDO for T-72 and T-90 main battle tanks providing an important indigenous de-mining capability to the Army.
In another significant step, the DAC approved shortlisting of Indian Strategic Partners (SP) and the potential Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that would collaborate with SPs to construct six conventional AIP attack submarines in India under the Project 75 (India) [P-75(I)]. This programme is being progressed under the ‘Strategic Partnership Model’, promulgated in 2017 to give a major boost to ‘Make in India’ in the Defence Sector. The construction of the six new submarines was approved by the DAC on Jan. 31, 2019.
The DAC also accorded approval for inclusion of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) in the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP). This would provide avenues in capital procurement for the Armed Forces to startups and innovators working for iDEX and provide a huge fillip to their budding efforts.
“Today’s decisions are also in keeping with the mandate given to the CDS and the newly-constituted Department of Military Affairs to promote the use of indigenous hardware by the Services”, said a Ministry of Defence statement.