India defence panel clears Rs 33-bn purchase plans

File Photo: India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh chairing a meeting of armed forces chiefs and Ministry of Defence officials in New Delhi soon after taking charge.

New Delhi: India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh, today approved capital procurement plans of the armed forces worth over $466 million (Rs 33 billion/Rs 3,300 crore) for indigenously designed and developed equipment.

Providing the much-needed impetus to the ‘Make in India‘ initiative of the Government of India, the DAC accorded approval for three projects to be indigenously designed, developed and manufactured by the Indian industry, a statement from the Ministry of Defence said.

The first two projects include third-generation Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) and the Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) for the T-72 and T-90 battle tanks.

The third-generation ATGM would provide ‘Fire and Forget’ and ‘Top Attack’ capabilities to the Indian Army troopers in an armoured battle, the statement said.

The APUs would enable incorporation of various upgrades to Fire Control System and Night Fighting capabilities of the battle tanks.

Both these projects will be processed under the ‘Make-II’ category of India’s Defence Procurement Procedure and will provide a boost to indigenous research and development in the private sector.

With this, for the first time the Ministry of Defence has offered complex military equipment to be designed, developed and manufactured by the Indian private industry.

The third indigenous project pertains to discrete Electronic Warfare (EW) systems for the mountain and high altitude terrain, which would be designed and developed by the state-administered Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by design-cum-production partner from the Indian industry.

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