DAC Approvals to Boost Defence Forces
In a major boost to indigenisation and in realisation of India’s growing technological prowess, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, has accorded two separate approvals for the procurement of equipment for the Defence Forces valued at over Rs. 6900 Crores and Rs 5500 Crores.
With the above approvals, in the last eight months alone, the DAC has pursued modernisation of the Armed Forces with greater vigour and has accorded major thrust on indigenisation. Approvals for procurement of equipment valued at approx. Rs 43,844 Crores, have been accorded, of which, Rs 32,253 Crores would be Made-in-India, through the indigenous route.
The DAC has approved procurement of Thermal Imaging (TI) Night Sights for the Rocket Launcher (RL) used by the Army and the Air Force under ‘BUY(Indian) IDDM’ category through established Indian Vendors. The TI sight for 84mm RL will be used by troops in operations to facilitate accurate and continuous engagement of moving and static enemy targets and destruction of field fortifications (bunkers) during hours of complete darkness.
The sight will enable own troops to detect and recognise enemy tanks and soldiers’ movement during night and engage them with greater efficiency. Furthermore, the effect of camouflage and concealment will be drastically reduced as RL detachments will be able to ascertain location of enemy taking cover behind foliage and thin walled constructions with greater ease.
The DAC has also accorded approval for undertaking Design and Development of the Long Range Dual Band Infrared Imaging Search and Track System (IRST) for SU-30 MKI aircraft under ‘Make II’ sub category and subsequently, for procurement of at least 100 IRSTs under ‘Buy (Indian–IDDM) category. The system will be able to operate in day and night conditions and will substantially enhance the capabilities of the aircraft.
The procurement of 12 High Power Radars for the Indian Air Force under ‘Buy (Indian) IDDM’ category will provide long range medium and high-altitude radar cover with the capability to detect and track high speed targets following parabolic trajectories. Technologically superior, the radars will have the capability to scan 360 degrees without mechanical rotation of Antenna and will operate on 24 x 7 basis with minimal maintenance requirement. Their procurement will enhance the overall efficacy of the Air Defence network in the country.
The DAC has also accorded approval for procurement of Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs) for the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Army from Indian Shipyard. These vessels would offer great advantage over conventional boats/crafts with their ability to travel at very high speeds over shallow water, sand banks, mud flats and swamps which are non-navigable by boats/small crafts due to draught restrictions/uncharted depths. These craft offer capability enhancement for the Services, and would prove useful for amphibious/ riverine operations, especially where there is a requirement to move men and material from one island to another island, across riverine terrain, creeks etc.