NEW DELHI: The standoff at the LAC has pushed the Defence Acqusition Council (DAC) to approve on Thursday high valued capital acquisition of various platforms and equipment required by the Indian Armed Forces. The cost of approvals granted amounted to Rs 38,900 crore with acquisitions to be made from the Indian industry totalling to Rs 31,130 crore.
The Ministry of Defence informed, “DAC under the chairmanship of Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh accorded approval for capital acquisition of various platforms and equipment required by the Indian Armed Forces. Proposals for an approximate cost of Rs 38,900 crore were approved.”
The first beneficiary of DAC's decisions will be the Indian Air Force which has been calling attention to its depleting combat squadrons - it has come down to 30 now. The IAF is sanctioned to get 42 combat squadrons.
“Addressing the long felt need of the IAF to increase its fighter squadrons, the DAC also approved the proposal for procurement of 21 MIG-29 along with up-gradation of existing 59 MIG-29 aircraft and procurement of 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft.” MoD communicated in its official release.
The MIG 29 procurement and up-gradation from Russia is estimated to cost Rs 7,418 crore whereas the Su-30 MKI which will be procured from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at an estimated cost of Rs 10,730 crore.
"The new acquisitions will add to the combat capabilities of the Air Force," said Air Vice-Marshal Manmohan Bahadur, Additional Director General, Centre for Air Power Studies, Delhi.
“These are to make up for the depleted squadrons of combat aircrafts. The standoff with China might have expedited the decisions to accept the necessity but what is important is that the finances need to be made available now,” he said.
Although, even after the DAC approvals, these projects will take another two-three years to materialise.
The DAC approvals are focused on indigenous design and development including acquisitions from the Indian industry. The equipment will be manufactured in India involving the Indian defence industry with the participation of several MSMEs as prime tier vendors. The indigenous content in some of these projects take up as much as 80 per cent of the total project cost.
A large number of these projects have been made possible due to the Transfer of Technology (ToT) by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to the indigenous industry.
These include Pinaka ammunitions, BMP armament upgrades and software defined radios for the Indian Army, Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile Systems and Astra Missiles for the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. The cost of these design and development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore.
Acquisition of new/additional missile systems will add to the fire power of the three Services. The acquisition of the Pinaka missile systems will enable raising additional regiments over and above the ones already inducted.
Meanwhile, the addition of the 'Long Range Land Attack Missile Systems' which has a firing range of 1,000 kilometres, to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the Navy and the Air Force.
Similarly, induction of Astra Missiles which has 'Beyond Visual Range' capability will serve as a force multiplier and immensely add to the strike capability of the Navy and Air Force.