In a major boost to self-reliance initiative in the defence sector, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared the desk for the procurement of Rs 8,357 crore worth of military platforms and hardware, including air defence fire control radar and GSAT-7B satellite. The DAC which met under the Chairmanship of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on 22 March accorded “Acceptance of Necessity” (AoN) for the procurement proposals, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement.
“AoNs accorded by DAC include procurement of Night Sight (Image Intensifier), Light Vehicles GS 4X4, Air Defence Fire Control Radar (Light) and GSAT 7B Satellite,” the statement said,
The satellite will be for the communication requirements of the Indian Army. The Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy already have satellites, according to a source. The acquisition of this equipment and systems, the MoD said “will enhance operational preparedness of Armed Forces by providing better visibility, enhanced mobility, improved communication and increased capability of detecting enemy aircraft”.
The grant of ‘AoN’ clears the way for the tendering process to start. As a boost to “Aatmanirbhar Bharat“, the proposals have been approved under the “Buy Indian (IDDM)” category, the Ministry noted. IDDM stands for indigenously designed, developed and manufactured.
To accelerate the pace of indigenisation and to facilitate ‘Ease of Doing Business’ for the defence industry, DAC approved effecting some policy initiatives in the DAP-2020. All modernisation requirements of defence forces to be indigenously sourced and import to be resorted to only as an exception. To reduce the financial burden on the defence industry, the requirement of IPBG is to be dispensed with and Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) to be introduced as bid security and PCIP cover up to contract stage. EMD will be applicable only for proposals of Rs 100 Cr and above and MSMEs and start-ups will be exempted from EMD.
DAC Clears Procurement of 14 Items Worth Over Rs 380 Crore From iDEX Startups/MSMEs
In a bid to encourage innovation, the DAC for the first time has cleared the procurement of 14 items worth Rs 380.43 crore from Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) start-ups and MSMEs. These items will be procured by the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.
The DAC also approved a new, simplified procedure to fast-track procurement from iDEX startups and MSMEs. “The procurement cycle from the AoN to contract signing will be around 22 weeks as per the new procedure. Suitable incorporation will be made in the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2022. The DAC also approved the simplified procedure for Make-II category projects on similar lines of iDEX procedure and would considerably bring down the time taken from prototype development to Contract signing in Make-II projects,” said the statement.
Under iDEX initiative, startups, MSMEs and research institutes are engaged and funded by the Ministry of Defence. The iDEX was launched by Prime Minister in 2018 to foster innovation and incorporate cutting-edge and disruptive technologies in the Armed Forces in a quick time frame. The MoD hopes that the iDEX scheme, which is expected to produce around 25-40 items after the successful prototyping, will be ready for procurement by this year’s end. It also expects that the iDEX scheme will provide at least 50 world-class solutions to the armed forces and the defence industry, soon.