The Ministry of Defence (MoD) cleared arms procurement proposals worth over Rs. 28,732 crore for the Armed Forces. They include swarm drones, close-quarter battle carbines and bulletproof jackets to bolster the combat prowess of the armed forces deployed along the northern and western borders. The approval of the new procurement proposals came considering the ongoing military standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held on 26 July. “Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for Capital Acquisition Proposals of the Armed Forces amounting to Rs 28,732 crore were accorded by the DAC in this meeting under Buy (Indian IDDM) and Buy (Indian) categories giving a further boost to ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in Defence,” the MoD said in a statement.
The Defence Ministry said the approval to procure four lakh close-quarter battle carbines was granted to combat the “current complex paradigm of conventional and hybrid warfare” and terrorism at the borders. “To combat the current complex paradigm of conventional and hybrid warfare and counter-terrorism at the borders, AoN for induction of approx. four lakh of Close Quarter Battle Carbines for the Services has also been accorded by the DAC,” it stated. The MoD said the decision is set to provide a major impetus to the small arms manufacturing industry in India and enhance ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in small arms.
Considering the demand for enhanced protection against the threat of enemy snippers to our troops deployed along the Line of Control and in close combat operations in counter-terrorism scenarios, DAC accorded AoN for Bullet Proof Jackets with Indian Standard BIS VI level of protection, the statement said.
On the procurement of the armed swarm drones, the MoD said these are being acquired as drone technology has proved to be a force multiplier in military operations. “In the recent conflicts across the world, drone technology proved to be a force multiplier in military operations. Accordingly, to augment the Indian Army’s capability in modern warfare, AoN for procurement of Autonomous Surveillance and Armed Drone Swarms has been accorded by the DAC under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category”, the MoD said.
The DAC also approved the Navy’s proposal to procure an upgraded 1250KW capacity Marine Gas Turbine Generator for power generation application onboard the Kolkata class of ships through the Indian Industry. This will give a major boost to the indigenous manufacturing of gas turbine generators. “In order to enhance the security in the coastal region of the country, the DAC also approved the proposal of procurement of 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for Indian Coast Guard under the Buy (Indian-IDDM) with 60% IC,” it said.
According to Defence Ministry, among the proposals approved by DAC in the meeting are three proposals of the Indian Army, viz. Guided Extended Range Rocket Ammunition, Area Denial Munition Type I and Infantry Combat Vehicle – Command have been designed and developed by DRDO. “The total value of these three proposals is worth Rs 8,599 crore,” informed MoD.
Guided Extended Range Rocket Ammunition has a range of 75 km with an accuracy of 40 meters. The Areal Denial Munition Type I Rocket Ammunition contains dual-purpose sub-munitions capable of neutralizing both tanks and armoured personnel carriers as well as B-vehicle entrenched troops. The Infantry Combat Vehicle – Command is equipped with technology to collect, disseminate, share and present real-time information to commanders to facilitate quick decision-making for execution of tasks.