India clears three indigenous defence equipment projects
The Indian Defence Ministry’s decision-making body on procurement, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), has approved the projects worth Rs33bn ($465.91m) to purchase local defence equipment.
Chaired by India Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the DAC cleared the projects, which will be designed, developed and manufactured by Indian companies.
The approval is seen as a boost to the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative in defence.
In a release, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) revealed that the first two projects include the manufacturing of the third-generation anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) and the auxiliary power units (APUs) for the T-72 and T-90 Tanks.
The MoD said: “While the third-generation ATGM would provide ‘Fire and Forget’ and ‘Top Attack’ capabilities to the troops in an armoured battle, the APUs would enable incorporation of various upgrades to fire control system and night fighting capabilities of the tanks.
“Both these projects will be progressed under the ‘Make-II’ category and will provide a boost to indigenous research and development in the private sector.”
The go-ahead for the projects means Indian private firms will design and manufacture complex defence equipment for the MoD for the first time, the release added.
The third project involves the development of discrete electronic warfare (EW) systems for the mountain and high-altitude terrain.
State-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been selected for the design and development of the systems.
DRDO’s private design and production partner from the industry will be responsible for manufacturing the EW systems.
The T-90 will replace the T-72 tanks as the main tank of the army’s armoured forces.