India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the highest decision-making body in the Defence Ministry cleared the purchase of locally produced military hardware worth INR 7,965 Crore ($1.06 billion) on Tuesday.
All of these proposals (100%) are under ‘Make in India’ with focus on design, development and manufacturing in India, the Indian MoD announced on November 2.
Key approvals of procurement from domestic sources include twelve Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs) from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL); Lynx U2 Fire Control System from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) which will enhance the detection tracking and engagement capabilities of Naval war ships and Mid-Life Upgradation of the Dornier Aircraft from HAL to increase the Naval capacity of maritime reconnaissance and coastal surveillance.
Additionally, the DAC shelved an earlier plan to buy Mk 45 anti-surface and anti-air naval gun systems from BAE Systems. The U.S. State Department had approved the sale of 13 Mk 45s along with ammunition and related add-ons for an estimated $1 billion in November 2019. “As a further impetus to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, a global procurement case of Naval guns has been foreclosed with these guns’ quantity added to the upgraded Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) being manufactured by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). These SRGMs provide niche capabilities of engaging fast manoeuvring targets using guided munitions &range extensions and are to be fitted on the warships of the Indian Navy,” the ministry said.