Govt approves defence proposals worth Rs 2.23 lakh crore

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during the XL Indian Coast Guard Commanders’ Conference, in New Delhi, Thursday, November 30, 2023. (Photo: IANS/Anupam Gautam)

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during the XL Indian Coast Guard Commanders’ Conference, in New Delhi, Thursday, November 30, 2023. (Photo: IANS/Anupam Gautam)

New Delhi, November 30 (IANS): The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Thursday approved various Capital Acquisition Proposals amounting to Rs 2.23 lakh crore.

The Ministry of Defence said that the DAC has accorded the Acceptance of Necessity (AoNs) for procurement of two types of anti-tank munitions namely, Area Denial Munition (ADM) Type-2 and Type-3, which are capable of neutralising tanks and armoured personnel carriers and enemy personnel.

It said that to replace the Indian Field Gun (IFG), which has completed its service life, AoN for procurement of state-of-the-art Towed Gun System (TGS) has been granted which will become a mainstay of artillery forces of the army.

The ministry said that the AoN was also accorded for 155 mm Nubless projectile for use in 155 mm artillery guns which will enhance lethality and safety of the projectiles.

“All these equipments will be procured under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category,” the MoD official said.

The official said that the AoN for procurement and integration of Automatic Target Tracker (ATT) and Digital Basaltic Computer (DBC) for T-90 Tanks under Buy (India) category have also been accorded which will help in maintaining combative edge of T-90 tanks over adversary platforms.

The official added that the AoN for procurement of Medium Range Anti-Ship Missiles (MRAShM) for surface platform of Indian Navy under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category has also been accorded.

“MRAShM is envisaged as a lightweight Surface-to-Surface Missile which will be a primary offensive weapon onboard Indian Naval Ships,” the ministry said.

It said that the DAC accorded AoNs for procurement of Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) for Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Army and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk 1A for IAF from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category.

The ministry said that the AoNs have also been accorded by the DAC for upgradation of Su-30 MKI Aircraft indigenously from HAL while procurement of these equipments will provide enormous strength to the IAF, acquisition from domestic defence industries will take the indigenous capability to a new height.

“It will also reduce dependability on foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) substantially,” the ministry official added.

It said that the DAC has accorded approval for a major amendment in the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020.

“It has been decided that henceforth, in all categories of procurement cases, minimum 50 per cent of indigenous content shall be in the form of material, components and software that are manufactured in India,” the ministry said.

It said that cost of Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC)/Comprehensive Maintenance Contract (CMC)/After Sale Service shall be excluded.

“The DAC has taken decision to further encourage start-ups/MSMEs participation in the defence ecosystem. For all procurement cases with AoN cost upto Rs 300 crore, registered MSMEs and recognised start-ups will be considered for issue of Request for Proposal (RFP) without any stipulation of financial parameters, which can further be relaxed with approval of Defence Procurement Board (DPB) for AoN cost upto Rs 500 crore on case-to-case basis,” the official added.

The ministry said that the acquisition worth Rs 2.20 lakh crore (98 per cent of total AoN amount) will be sourced from domestic industries.

“This will give a substantial boost to the Indian Defence Industry towards the aim of achieving the goal of ‘Aatmanirbharta’,” the ministry said.