New Delhi: India on Thursday approved capital acquisition of a plethora of indigenously-developed military hardware including indigenous BrahMos missiles, marine diesel engine, artillery gun system, electronic warfare suits and utility helicopters at a cost of Rs 70,584 crore as part of a mega procurement plan.
Out of the total acquisition plan, the Indian Navy’s proposals constitute more than Rs 56,000 crore, which largely included Shakti Electronic Warfare (EW) systems, maritime helicopters and other key equipment, officials said.
All the platforms and weapons systems are being procured from domestic sources.
The other key military hardware which are being procured included long range stand-off weapon (LRSOW), K-9 Vajra-T gun system, 155mm/52 caliber advanced towed artillery gun system (ATAGS) and gun towing vehicles (GTVs) for the Indian Army.
The approval to the procurement proposals has been accorded by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, an official statement said.
The approval for a medium speed marine diesel engine is seen as a significant step as for the first time, India is venturing into the development and manufacturing of such engines indigenously.
The go ahead to the fresh procurement proposals came amid the nearly three-year standoff along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh with China.
The DAC accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for capital acquisition amounting to Rs 70,584 crore and all the procurement will be made under the Buy (Indian-IDDM) category.
The total approval granted for capital acquisition in the financial year 2022-23 now stands at Rs 2,71,538 crore, out of which 98.9 per cent of the procurement will be sourced from the Indian industries, the officials said.
“Such quantum of indigenous procurement will not only galvanize the Indian industries towards achieving the goal of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) but also reduce India’s dependency on foreign vendors to a large extent,” Singh’s office tweeted.
About Navy’s proposals, the defence ministry said while the additional procurement of BrahMos missile system will enhance the maritime strike capabilities and anti-surface warfare operation, the addition of utility helicopters will multiply the operational readiness of the force.
Similarly, Shakti systems will equip and modernise the frontline Naval ships to counter any Naval operations by the adversaries, it said.
“To keep pace with the emerging technologies and counter the adversaries in the Western and Northern front, the necessity of the new weapons and its integration with the delivery platforms was felt by the government,” the ministry said.
“To achieve the same objectives, the DAC accorded the approval to Indian Air Force’s proposal for Long Range Stand-Off Weapon (LRSOW) which will be indigenously designed, developed and integrated on SU-30 MKI aircraft,” it said.
“For artillery modernisation, in addition to the ongoing Dhanush Gun System and K-9 Vajra-T Gun System, AoN for procurement of 155mm/52 Caliber Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) along with High Mobility Vehicles (HMVs) and Gun Towing Vehicles (GTVs) for the Indian Army was accorded by the DAC,” it said.
“It (DAC) also accorded AoN for procurement of Advance Light Helicopters (ALH) MK-III from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Coast Guard. The helicopter will be able to carry a suite of surveillance sensors which will enhance the surveillance capabilities,” the ministry said.
“It will also give full night capability and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) capability for operations of the Indian Coast Guard,” it said.