India approves $1.8-billion defence procurement projects, including 25 Dhruv choppers

File Photo: ‘Dhruv’ Advanced Light Helicopter made by HAL.

New Delhi: India today gave its approval for procurement of $1.8-billion worth of weapons and military equipment for its armed forces, focusing on buying domestic products worth $1.55 billion among them.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh, accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for Capital Acquisitions proposals for modernisation and operational needs of the Indian armed forces.

The projects approved amounted to approximately Rs. 13,165 crore ($1.8 billion), of which Rs. 11,486 crore ($1.55 billion) would be from domestic sources, said to be 87 per cent of the total projects approved today. Key approvals include helicopters, guided munition and rocket ammunition.

“Looking into the need of the Indian Army for an Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) squadron, to improve its integral lift capability ensuring its operational preparedness, the DAC accorded approval of procurement of 25 ALH MkIII helicopters from HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) under Buy Indian – Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) at an approximate cost of Rs. 3,850 crore ($519 million), in keeping with the continued thrust towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat‘ and ‘Make in India‘,” a statement from the Ministry of Defence said.

“Giving boost to indigenous design and development of ammunitions, (the) DAC accorded approval for procurement of Terminally Guided Munition (TGM) and HEPF/RHE Rocket Ammunition under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category at an approx cost of Rs. 4,962 crore ($669 million) from domestic sources. Other proposals worth Rs. 4,353 crore ($.587 million) were also accorded AoN by the DAC.”

In addition, the DAC also approved a few amendments to the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020, as a part of Business Process Re-engineering to ensure further ease of doing business for the industry as well as measures to enhance procurement efficiency and reducing timelines.

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