The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, met in New Delhi yesterday and accorded approval to Capital Acquisition Proposals of the Services and Coast Guard valued at approximately Rs 9435 crore.
In a major boost to the Make in India initiative the DAC accorded approval for procurement of 41000 LMGs and over 3.5 Lakh Close Quarter Battle Carbines under Buy and Make (Indian) category These weapons are an essential component of a soldier’s fighting equipment and will provide a major filip to the fighting capability of the troops. Out of total quantities envisaged, 75 percent will be through Indian Industry under ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ category and balance through OFB. The earmarked quantity for the OFB has been kept to optimally utilise their infrastructure and capacity, as well as provide a window for assimilation of critical technologies towards building indigenous capability in Small Arms manufacturing. The total cost for procurement of Carbines and LMGs for the soldiers of the three Services is Rs 4607 crore and Rs 3000 crore respectively.
The vintage of personal weapons, Assault Rifles Carbines and LMGs being operated by the troops of the three Services, especially by soldiers positioned on the borders and in areas affected by militancy has been a cause of concern for over a decade. The Government has been conscious of the requirement to modernise basic fighting weapons for the soldiers and has therefore accorded utmost priority to these cases. With the approval of these two proposals, the Government has cleared procurement of the entire range of personal weapons for the three Services. Of these, immediate operational requirement for the soldiers deployed on the borders will be procured through Fast Track Procurement and for the balance production lines will be set up in India.
The DAC also accorded approval for procurement of essential quantity of High Capacity Radio Relay (HCRR) for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force under Buy (Indian) categorisation at an estimated cost of over Rs 1092 crore. These state-of-the-art, High Capacity Radio Relays would provide the Services with fail-safe and reliable communication along with increased bandwidth in the Tactical Battle Area.
To enhance the ability of the Indian Coast Guard to rapidly undertake pollution control measures off the East Coast and Island Territories the DAC cleared the proposal for acquisition of two Pollution Control Vessels (PCV). These would be built by Indian shipyards under Buy (lndian-lDDM)’ category at an approximate cost of Rs 673 crore. These ships in addition to carrying out pollution control would also be capable of undertaking patrolling, search and rescue and limited salvage and fire fighting operations at sea.