Govt nod to acquire defence hardware worth Rs 70,500 crore

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on Thursday accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for capital acquisitions worth more than Rs 70,500 crore. This includes additional BrahMos missiles, utility helicopters, Marine Diesel Engine for the Navy, and Long-Range Stand-Off Weapon for IAF’s Su-30s.

The procurements will be made under Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) category. Acceptance of Necessity is the first step in the long defence acquisition process, and may or may not necessarily culminate into a final order.

Of this, Navy proposals constitute more than Rs 56,000 crore, which includes indigenous BrahMos missiles, Shakti Electronic Warfare systems and Utility Helicopters-Maritime.

In a statement, the Defence Ministry said this additional procurement of BrahMos missile system will enhance maritime strike capabilities and Anti-Surface Warfare Operation, and the addition of utility helicopters will multiply operational readiness of the Navy in the domain of Search & Rescue operations, Casualty Evacuation, Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief.

“Similarly, Shakti EW systems will equip and modernise the frontline Naval ships to counter any Naval Operations by the adversaries,” the ministry stated.

The ministry said the AoN for Medium Speed Marine Diesel Engine under Make-I category is significant as it marks the first time India is venturing into development and manufacturing of such engines. “To keep pace with emerging technologies and counter adversaries in the western and northern front, the necessity of the new weapons and its integration with the delivery platforms was felt by the Government,” it said.

To achieve the same objectives, the DAC accorded approval to IAF’s proposal for Long Range Stand-Off Weapon, which will be indigenously designed, developed, and integrated on SU-30 MKI aircraft, the ministry stated.

“For artillery modernisation, in addition to the ongoing Dhanush Gun System and K-9 Vajra-T Gun System, the DAC accorded the AoN for procurement of 155mm/52 Caliber Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System along with High Mobility Vehicles and Gun Towing Vehicles,” the ministry said.