The Union government approved procurement of equipment worth Rs 3,300 crore from private Indian defence firms in a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) that was held in New Delhi on Monday.
The procurement includes third-generation anti-tank guided missiles and auxiliary power units for T-72 and T-90 tanks as well as electronic warfare systems for mountain and high-altitude regions.
The meeting of the DAC, an overarching structure under the Defence Ministry to expedite equipment procurement for the armed forces, was chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. A statement from the ministry said this was for the first time that the Ministry of Defence has offered complex military equipment to be designed, developed and manufactured by Indian private industry.
As per officials, the three projects that have been cleared by the DAC will be indigenously designed, developed and manufactured in India. The first two projects include third generation anti-tank guided missiles and auxiliary power units for T-72 and T-90 tanks.
“The third generation anti-tank guided missiles will provide ‘fire and forget’ and ‘top attack’ capabilities to the troops in an armoured battle and the auxiliary power units will enable incorporation of various upgrades to fire control system and night fighting capabilities of the tanks,” said an official.
The third indigenous project pertaining to discrete electronic warfare systems will be designed and developed by the Defence Research & Development Organization and manufactured by design-cum-production partner from the Indian industry.
The Delhi-based Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) has called the decision a “forward-looking step.”
“In the past there have been very few orders for private defence firms. Therefore, the new approval is a welcome step. In September, the government had cleared an order for procurement of weapons and military platforms worth Rs 2,000 crore. We expect more orders to be cleared in the next quarter,” said an SIDM spokesperson.-IANS News