New Delhi: The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Saturday approved procurement worth approximately Rs. 46,000 crore for the purchase of defence equipments and supplies, including 111 utility helicopters, 14 Vertically Launched Short Range Missile and 150 indigenously developed 155 mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems.
In a meeting chaired by Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, the DAC approved Rs. 21,000 crore out of the total procurement amount for purchasing 111 utility helicopters for the Navy. This is the first project under Ministry of Defence’s notable Strategic Partnership (SP) Model which intends to provide a major boost to Centre’s ‘Make in India’ program.
This model envisages indigenous manufacturing of major defence platforms by an Indian Strategic Partner, who will collaborate with foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), acquire niche technologies and set up production facilities in the country.
The model aims at promoting India as a manufacturing hub for defence equipment thus enhancing self-sufficiency and establishing an industrial and R&D ecosystem, capable of meeting the future requirements of the Armed Forces. The contract when finalised, would result in a vibrant and wide-spread Defence industrial eco-system in the Indian Aviation Sector with the Private Industry and MSMEs as major stakeholders.
For the modernisation of the Armed forces, the DAC also granted approval to a few other proposals worth approximately Rs. 24,879.16 crores, including approval for procurement of 150 numbers of Indigenously Designed and Developed 155 mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems for the Indian Army at an approximate cost of Rs 3,364.78 crores. These guns have been indigenously designed and developed by DRDO and will be manufactured by production agencies, as nominated by DRDO.
In a quest to enhance the capability of Navy at sea, approval has also been granted for procurement of Anti-Submarine capable, 24 in number Multi Role Helicopters, which are an integral part of the frontline warships like the Aircraft Carriers, destroyers, frigates and corvettes. Availability of MRH with the Navy would plug the existing capability gap.
The DAC also cleared procurement of 14 Vertically Launched Short Range Missile to boost the self-defence capability of ships against Anti-Ship Missiles. Of these, 10 systems will be indigenously developed.