Home / Politics / Policy /  Defence ministry clears 46,000 cr purchase of military equipment

New Delhi: The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Saturday cleared the acquisition of military hardware for the Indian Army and Navy worth around 46,000 crore, a government statement said.

Among its key decisions, the council approved the procurement of 111 utility helicopters for the Indian Navy at a cost of over 21,000 crore, the statement added.

“ This is the first project under the MoD’s strategic partnership model that aims to provide significant fillip to the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme," the statement said. The strategic partnership model “envisages indigenous manufacturing of major defence platforms by an Indian strategic partner, who will collaborate with foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), acquire niche technologies and set up production facilities in the country," the statement said.

“The model has a long-term vision of promoting India as a manufacturing hub for defence equipment, thereby enhancing self-sufficiency and establishing an industrial and R&D ecosystem, capable of meeting the future requirements of the Armed Forces. The contract when finalised, would result in a vibrant and wide-spread defence industrial ecosystem in the Indian aviation sector with the private industry and MSMEs as major stakeholders," it added.

The DAC also cleared some other proposals worth around 24,879.16 crore, including approval for the procurement of 150 indigenously designed and developed 155 mm Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems for the Indian Army at an approximate cost of 3,364.78 crore, the statement said. “These guns have been indigenously designed & developed by the DRDO and will be manufactured by production agencies, as nominated by the DRDO. They are likely to be the mainstay of artillery in the near future. A nod to these major schemes will provide a fillip to the ‘Make in India’ push by the government, help create self-reliance in defence manufacturing, and make the defence industry a major engine of India’s economic growth," the statement said.

To improve the capability of the Indian Navy at sea, the DAC also granted approval for the procurement of 24 anti-submarine capable Multi Role Helicopters (MRH) “which are an integral part of the frontline warships such as aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates and corvettes," the statement said.

The council also cleared the procurement of 14 vertically launched Short Range Missile Systems to enhance the self-defence capability of ships against Anti-Ship Missiles, the statement said, adding, 10 of the missiles would be indigenously developed.

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