India's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by defense minister Rajnath Singh green signalled several military procurement and development projects worth nearly INR 5,100 crore (nearly $718 million) in a meeting held on Tuesday.
"The DAC accorded approval for procurement of equipment worth over Rs 5,100 crore from indigenous sources," the defence ministry said in a statement. The meeting saw the newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Bipin Rawat and several top officials as attendees.
The multi-million dollar project includes procurement of sophisticated electronic warfare systems for the Indian Army that is designed by state-run Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), is manufactured by local companies. The EW systems will be used in deserts and plains and will provide comprehensive Electronic Support and Counter Measure capabilities to the field formations in both communication and other aspects of Electronic Warfare.
In addition, the DAC narrowed out two Indian companies- Larsen & Toubro, and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited; and all five foreign technology collaborators who applied to take part in the Indian Navy's INR 50,000 crore ($7 billion) Project-75I competition to build six conventionally-powered submarines. The Indian Strategic Partner (SP) will collaborate with foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to set up dedicated manufacturing lines for these submarines in India, and make India the global hub for submarine design and production. These submarines will have Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) technology to give them the ability to stay underwater for weeks.
The five foreign companies are: South Korea's Daewoo (KSS-3 submarine), France's Naval Group (Scorpene submarine), Spanish Navantia (S-80 Issac Peral-class submarine), Germany's Thyssenkrupp (Type 218 Invincible-Class submarine) and Russia's Rosoboronexport (Amur submarine).
India's highest defence procurement body has also approved prototype testing of trawl assemblies for T-72 and T-90 tanks that provides de-mining capability. Also, Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) will be included in the Defence Procurement Procedure. This would provide avenues in capital procurement for the Armed Forces to startups and innovators working for iDEX and provide a huge fillip to their budding efforts.