New Delhi: The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, met today and accorded approval for Capital Procurement of Services amounting to over Rs 22,800 crore. To boost the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the DAC accorded approval for indigenous design, development and manufacturing of ‘Thermal Imaging Night Sights’ for Assault Rifles. These sights will be manufactured by the Indian private industry and used by troops deployed on the frontline, said a Press release from the Ministry of Defence.
‘Thermal Imaging Night Sights’ will enable troops to undertake long range accurate engagements in dark and all weather conditions, thereby enhancing night fighting capabilities.
As a follow up of the successful indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) program, the DAC revalidated the Acceptance of Necessity for the procurement of additional Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) India aircraft.
The mission system and sub-systems for these aircraft will be designed indigenously, developed and integrated onto the main platform by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
These platforms will provide on-board Command & Control and ‘Early Warning’ which will assist the Indian Air Force (IAF) in achieving effective air space dominance in the least possible time.
Induction of these systems will increase the extent of coverage along international borders and greatly enhance both the Air Defence and Offensive capabilities of the IAF.
The DAC also approved procurement of Medium Range Anti-submarine Warfare P8 I aircraft for the Navy. These aircraft would greatly strengthen the Navy’s capabilities for maritime coastal surveillance, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Vessel (ASV) strike.
The DAC approved procurement of Twin Engine Heavy Helicopters (TEHH) for the Indian Coast Guard. These aircraft would enable the Coast Guard to undertake missions to prevent maritime terrorism, infiltration of terrorists by sea routes as well as Search & Rescue operations, said the Ministry of Defence Press release.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had said in Lok Sabha in November that 8,643 MSMEs are already registered in the domestic Defence manufacturing and production sector.
India is also exporting helicopters, radars, ammunition and more Defence equipment, and 3 Joint Ventures have been approved with Russia for helicopters, rifles and transport aircraft under ‘Make in India.’
Indus Dictum also reported in November that FDI worth Rs 1,812 crore was channeled into the Defence sector since 2014, and 44 proposals have been approved under Make-II.
At the ADMM-Plus Summit in Bangkok in November, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had reaffirmed the Government’s committment to achieving a $26 billion Defence industry by 2025 with ‘Make in India.’
On a visit to Russia in November, Singh urged Russia to jointly manufacture Defence equipment with India. A day after that, Russia announced it would support the ‘Make in India’ initiative with plans to jointly manufacture Kalashnikov AK-203 rifles in India.
Singh also awarded Rs 3 crore to two startups in November, saying innovation is key to self-reliance in the Defence sector.