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Defence Ministry approves proposals worth Rs 70,500 crore for buying howitzers, BrahMos missiles, UH Maritime helicopters

Shakti EW systems will equip and modernise the frontline Naval ships to counter any Naval Operations by the adversaries.

In a big push towards ‘Make-in-India’ in the defence sector, Defence Ministry on Thursday approved proposals worth Rs 70,500 crore for buying different weapon systems for the Indian defence forces.

A meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was held on Thursday. The DAC has given approval for proposals to buy 60 Made-in-India Utility Helicopters (Maritime) and BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles for Indian Navy, 307 Advanced Towed Artillery Gun Systems (ATAGS) howitzers for Indian Army and 9 ALH Dhruv choppers for Indian Coast Guard, officials said.

A Defence Ministry release said that to keep pace with the emerging technologies and counter the adversaries in the Western and Northern front, the necessity of the new weapons and its integration with the delivery platforms was felt by the Government.

To achieve the same objectives, the DAC accorded the approval to Indian Air Force’s proposal for Long Range Stand-Off Weapon (LRSOW) which will be indigenously designed, developed and integrated on SU-30 MKI aircraft.

The deal of buying 60 Utility Helicopter (Maritime) choppers amounts to Rs 32,000 crore. The helicopters are designed to meet the warship requirements of the force.

DAC accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for capital acquisition amounting to over Rs 70,500 crore under Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured).

According to the Ministry of Defence, out of the total proposals, Indian Navy proposals constitute more than Rs 56,000 crore, which largely includes indigenous BrahMos missiles, Shakti Electronic Warfare (EW) systems and Utility Helicopters (Maritime).

While this additional procurement of BrahMos missile system will enhance the maritime strike capabilities and Anti-Surface Warfare Operation, the addition of Utility Helicopters will multiply the operational readiness of the Indian Navy in domains such as search and rescue operations, casualty evacuation and Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR).

Similarly, Shakti EW systems will equip and modernise the frontline Naval ships to counter any Naval Operations by the adversaries.

The accordance of AoN for Medium Speed Marine Diesel Engine under the Make-I category is a significant step as, for the first time, India is venturing into the development and manufacturing of such engines indigenously to achieve self-reliance and leverage the capabilities of the industries towards the goal of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, said the Defence Ministry release.

For Artillery modernisation, in addition to the ongoing Dhanush Gun System and K-9 Vajra-T Gun System, AoN for procurement of 155mm/52 Caliber Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) along with High Mobility Vehicles (HMVs) and Gun Towing Vehicles (GTVs) for the Indian Army was accorded by the DAC.

It also accorded AoN for procurement of Advance Light Helicopters (ALH) MK-III from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Coast Guard. The Helicopter will be able to carry a suite of surveillance sensors which will enhance the surveillance capabilities. It will also give full night capability and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) capability for the operations of the Indian Coast Guard.

Including today’s proposals, the total AoN granted for capital acquisition in the financial year 2022-23 is over Rs 2.71 lakh crore, out of which 99 per cent of the procurement will be sourced from Indian industries. Such a quantum of indigenous procurement will galvanise the Indian industries towards achieving the goal of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, the release said.

The Navy has more than 150 warships in its fleet and wants them to be equipped with at least one helicopter each and is looking at procuring them through the Make in India route first.

The Indian Navy warships are deployed all along the Indian Ocean Region and warships are provided with helicopters for reconnaissance and surveillance along with other operations required by the fleet to be carried out.

Further, ATAGS howitzers will be procured for deployment along the borders with China and Pakistan.

The ALH choppers are operated by all three defence forces including the Army, Navy and Air Force along with the Indian Coast Guard. The ALH Dhruv has become one of the important parts of helicopter missions undertaken by all three forces.

In January this year, DAC cleared three capital acquisition proposals amounting to Rs 4,276 crore for buying indigenous Helina anti-tank missiles and air defence systems to be developed for taking down enemy aircraft.

In December last year, the DAC accorded the approval for Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for 24 Capital Acquisition Proposals.

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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