The Indian Defense Acquisition Council during a meeting on Wednesday is likely to discuss BrahMos supersonic cruise missile systems for the Indian Navy, BAE’s M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers for the Army and Avro replacement program.
The government is likely to pave the way for six new BrahMos supersonic cruise missile systems with 89 missiles for the Indian Navy for an approximate US $421 million (INR 2700 crore).
Another important proposal to be discussed is BAE Systems’ offer to build a howitzer factory in India to close a deal valued at nearly US $800 million (INR 5100 crore).
BAE has offered to be part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, sources said, adding that the firm is ready to set up an assembly line here with a local partner to make the guns domestically.
The Army, which is in desperate need of new artillery guns, is keen that Foreign Military Sales (FMS) option be revived for BAE’s guns and that a fresh Letter of Offer and Acceptance be floated to US.
Another key proposal that would come under discussion is the lone bid of Airbus-TATA consortium to replace IAF’s ageing fleet of 56 Avro aircraft with C-295 transport carriers for an approximate cost of US $2.5 billion (INR 16,000 crore)
A final decision was anticipated in November last year but Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar had then sought more information about the necessity of the aircraft and the bidding process. Under the current defense procurement policy, single-vendor situation is not entertained unless cleared by the DAC.