One of the sectors under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India) initiative witnessing major reforms is defence. On September 15, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for nine capital acquisition proposals of approx. Rs 45,000 crore.
Notably, the defence ministry also notified that all the procurements will be made from Indian vendors under the Buy (Indian-Indigenously Designed, Developed, and Manufactured (IDMM)/Buy (Indian) category.
The approved proposals encompass a wide spectrum of defence needs to enhance the country’s attack capability and increase the survivability of Mechanised Forces. The DAC accorded the AoN for the procurement of Light Armoured Multipurpose Vehicles (LAMV) and Integrated Surveillance and Targeting System (ISAT-S). The DAC cleared AoN for procurement of High Mobility Vehicle (HMV) Gun Towing Vehicles for swift mobilisation and deployment of Artillery Guns and Radars.
Additionally, for the Indian Navy, DAC also approved the procurement of Next Generation Survey Vessels, which will greatly enhance its capabilities in performing Hydrographic Operations.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) also received approval for the avionics upgrade of Dornier Aircraft to improve accuracy and reliability for operations. The DAC’s approval for the procurement of the Dhruvastra Short Range Air-to-Surface Missile as a potent Indigenous Precision Guided Weapon for indigenously built ALH Mk-IV Helicopters is a significant step. Further, the AoN for the procurement of 12 Su-30 MKI Aircraft with associated equipment from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was also accorded.
While chairing the meeting, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stated that it is time to upgrade the ambitions towards indigenisation. “Rather than a threshold of 50% indigenous content for IDDM projects, we should aim for a minimum of 60–65% indigenous content,” he said.