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97 more LCA Tejas jets, 156 Light Combat Helicopters, upgrade of 84 Sukhois and more: Defence Acquisition Council approves procurements worth ₹2.23 lakh crore

98% of the total procurement worth ₹2.20 lakh crore will be from domestic sources. This will give a substantial boost to the Indian Defence Industry towards the aim of achieving the goal of ‘Aatmanirbharta’, said a statement by the ministry.

In major defence procurement decisions, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) today (30 November) approved the procurement of several defence acquisitions, including Tejas Light Combat Aircraft 1A and Light Combat Helicopter from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The DAC under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Rajnath Sing, accorded approval in respect of Acceptance of Necessity (AoNs) for various Capital Acquisition Proposals amounting to ₹2.23 lakh crore.

98% of the total procurement worth ₹2.20 lakh crore will be from domestic sources. This will give a substantial boost to the Indian Defence Industry towards the aim of achieving the goal of ‘Aatmanirbharta’, said a statement by the ministry.

The DAC accorded AoNs for procurement of Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) for Indian Air Force (IAF) & Indian Army and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk 1A for IAF from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category.

97 LCA Mk 1A will be procured for ₹65,000 crore, while 156 LCH Prachand choppers will be purchased. DAC also approved the upgradation of 84 Su-30 MKI Aircraft indigenously by HAL. These three projects will cost ₹1.6 lakh crore. It is notable that an order worth ₹ 36,468 crore for delivery of 83 LCA Mk 1A aircraft was already placed with HAL earlier and delivery is scheduled to begin by February 2024.

After all the ordered jets are delivered by HAL, LCA Tejas will be the largest fleet of fighter aircraft to be operated by the Indian Air Force in the coming years.

The defence ministry said that while procurement of these equipment will provide enormous strength to the IAF, acquisition from domestic defence industries will take the indigenous capability to a new height. It will also reduce dependability on foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) substantially.

Other then the aircrafts, the DAC accorded the AoN for procurement of two types of Anti-tank Munitions namely, Area Denial Munition (ADM) Type – 2 and Type-3, which are capable of neutralising Tanks and Armoured personnel carriers and enemy personnel.

To replace the Indian Field Gun (IFG), which has completed its service life, AoN for procurement of state-of-the-art Towed Gun System (TGS) has been granted which will become a mainstay of Artillery forces of Indian Army. The AoN was also accorded for 155 mm Nubless projectile for use in 155 mm Artillery guns which will enhance lethality and safety of the projectiles. All these equipment of the Indian Army will be procured under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category.

The AoN for procurement and integration of Automatic Target Tracker (ATT) and Digital Basaltic Computer (DBC) for T-90 Tanks under Buy (India) category have also been accorded which will help in maintaining combative edge of T-90 tanks over adversary platforms.

The AoN for procurement of Medium Range Anti-Ship Missiles (MRAShM) for surface platform of Indian Navy under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category has also been accorded. The MRAShM is envisaged as a lightweight Surface-to-Surface Missile which will be a primary offensive weapon onboard Indian Naval Ships.

Apart from the procurement approvals, the DAC also accorded approval for a major amendment in the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020. It has been decided that henceforth, in all categories of procurement cases, minimum 50% of indigenous content shall be in the form of material, components & software that are manufactured in India.

For the purpose of calculation of Indigenous content, cost of Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC)/Comprehensive Maintenance Contract (CMC)/After Sale Service shall be excluded.

Also, the DAC has taken decision to further encourage start-ups/MSMEs participation in the defence ecosystem. For all procurement cases with AoN cost upto Rs 300 crore, registered MSMEs and recognised start-ups will be considered for issue of Request for Proposal (RFP) without any stipulation of financial parameters, which can further be relaxed with approval of Defence Procurement Board (DPB) for AoN cost upto Rs 500 crore on case-to-case basis.

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