India is modernizing its army
The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, has approved capital acquisition proposals worth 78 billion rupees (over $943 million). The DAC approved the purchase of rough terrain forklift trucks, bridge laying tanks, wheeled armored fighting vehicles with anti-tank guided missiles, and weapon locating radars, all of which will be procured from domestic sources with an emphasis on indigenous design and development, Azernews reports, citing Tacc.
In addition, the DAC has approved the procurement of Next Generation Corvettes (NGC) for the Indian Navy, at an estimated cost of approximately 36,000 crore rupees (over $440 million). These NGCs will be versatile platforms for a variety of roles, such as surveillance missions, escort operations, deterrence, surface action group operations, search and attack, and coastal defense. The NGCs will be constructed based on an in-house design of the Navy, using the latest technology of shipbuilding, and will contribute to the Government's initiative of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).
The DAC also approved the manufacture of Dornier aircraft and Su-30 MKI aero-engines by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), with a focus on enhancing indigenization, particularly in indigenizing aero-engine material. Further, the DAC has approved a 'Digital Coast Guard' project under the 'Buy (Indian) Category'. This project will establish a pan-India secure network for digitizing various surface and aviation operations, logistics, finance, and human resources processes in the Coast Guard.
The DAC also approved the procurement of a Long Range Stand-Off Weapon (LRSOW) for the Indian Air Force (IAF), to be designed and developed indigenously and integrated into SU-30 MKI fighters. In addition, the DAC has approved the procurement of a 155mm/52-calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) along with High Mobility Vehicles (HMVs) and Gun Towing Vehicles (GTVs) for the Army. The DAC also approved the procurement of Advance Light Helicopters (ALH) MK-III from HAL for the Coast Guard.
In a boost to the government's plans to achieve greater self-reliance in defense, India will spend 75 percent of its defense capital in 2023-24 on procurement from the domestic industry, up from 68 percent in 2022-23. As many as 266 partnerships were forged during the event, including 201 MoUs, 53 major announcements, nine product launches, and three Transfers of Technology, worth around Rs 80,000 crore.
These procurements and partnerships are expected to provide a substantial boost to the Indian Defense Industry and reduce foreign spending significantly, while also helping India achieve greater self-reliance in defense.
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