Sunday, July 14, 2024

India Greenlights INR 45,000 Crore Defence Upgrades amid China Tensions

By Staff Correspondent

India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has endorsed a capital acquisition scheme encompassing nine proposals, totalling around INR 45,000 crore. This comes amid the lingering border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.

Central to these upgrades is the procurement of 12 Su-30 MKI fighter jets and the integration of the Dhruvastra air-to-surface missile (ASM) system. Also of significance is the refurbishment of the Dornier aircraft fleet’s avionics — a response to a series of technical glitches reported earlier this year.

“The DAC’s move to grant Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for these projects is a testament to India’s ongoing commitment to fortifying its defence mechanisms,” the defence ministry said in a statement. This initial greenlight is a crucial step in India’s defence acquisition procedure.

Thursday’s DAC meeting, presided over by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, laid emphasis on the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Singh underlined the goal of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign by stating, “Our ambitions for indigenisation need elevation. Rather than a 50% indigenous threshold for IDDM projects, we ought to target 60-65%.”

The proposals, rooted in the ‘Buy (Indian-Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDMM)/Buy (Indian)’ categories, aim to stimulate India’s domestic defence sector. This comes at a time when the country is striving for a reduced dependency on foreign-made armaments.

Among the approved assets are the Light Armoured Multipurpose Vehicles (LAMV) and the Integrated Surveillance and Targeting System (ISAT-S). These additions seek to bolster the protective and offensive capabilities of India’s mechanised units. Furthermore, the DAC’s nod for the procurement of High Mobility Vehicle (HMV) gun towing vehicles is set to expedite the mobilisation and deployment of artillery guns and radars.

This move by the DAC signifies a greater emphasis on self-reliance in defense capabilities amid geopolitical challenges.

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