Def min okays arms procurement worth Rs 28k cr

Synopsis

“The Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for capital acquisition proposals of the armed forces amounting to Rs 28,732 crore were accorded by the DAC,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

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Private sector players venturing into military manufacturing are likely to see intense competition with the defence ministry giving its go-ahead for the procurement of small arms and swarm drones, among other systems, worth ₹28,732 crore. Adani Defence and Kalyani group are likely to be among the major bidders for the carbine contracts.

The Defence Acquisition Council headed by Rajnath Singh granted acceptance of necessity for a variety of systems that will only be procured from Indian companies and will need to meet stringent requirements for indigenised content.

These individual cases will now be processed by the respective armed forces that will invite proposals from Indian companies, conduct rigorous trials and identify the winner based on the best commercial offer.

The small arms industry will see a major tussle given the requirement for four lakh close quarter carbines that have been cleared by the defence ministry. The carbines are being procured for counterterrorism operations as well as for use on the Line of Actual Control (LCA) where thousands of troops have been forward deployed in a border standoff with China.

The competition is likely to see major Indian companies bidding, with Adani Defence being among the frontrunners. The company has tied up with Israeli firm IWI to set up a small arms manufacturing plant near Gwalior. The Kalyani Group is also likely to be a competitor, with the company tying up with Thales France. Competition could also come from public sector units like Bharat Electronics Ltd and Advanced Weapons and Equipment India. Earlier, carbines were acquired through the global route, with a UAE-based firm being shortlisted.

The ministry has also given its approval to procure bullet-proof jackets for armed forces that will adhere to BIS VI level protection. At least three Indian private sector companies will be in the fray for this, with advanced technology already available inhouse to manufacture the jackets.

Bids for a new fleet of Autonomous Surveillance and Armed Drone Swarms for the Army is likely to see intense competition from startups and tech-driven companies. These systems should be Indian designed, developed and manufactured with a minimum of 50% indigenous content.

The ministry has also given approvals to procure 1,250 KW capacity Marine Gas Turbine Generators for the Kolkata class of warships and the acquisition of 14 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard.

The Army can now procure Guided Extended Range Rocket Ammunition, Area Denial Munition and command centre designed and developed by DRDO. Valued at ₹8,599 crore, the order is likely to be split between a PSU and Nagpur-based private player, Economic Explosives Ltd.

( Originally published on Jul 26, 2022 )

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