India’s Defense Game-Changer: Massive Rs. 2.23 Lakh Crore Investment Approved

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) of India, led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has approved capital acquisition proposals totaling Rs. 2.23 lakh crore (approximately US$ 26.75 billion). This massive investment, primarily focused on boosting operational capabilities of the Indian armed forces, has significant implications both for national defense and the domestic defense industry.

Key Highlights of the Procurement

  1. Domestic Focus: A substantial 98% of the total procurement, amounting to around Rs. 2.20 lakh crore, will be sourced from domestic industries. This decision aligns with India’s goal of achieving self-reliance (‘Aatmanirbharta’) in its defense sector​​​​​​.
  2. Major Acquisitions:
    • Air Force and Army: The procurement includes 97 Tejas Mark 1-A fighter jets and 156 Prachand attack helicopters for the Indian Air Force and Army. These acquisitions are part of India’s effort to enhance its aerial combat capabilities​​​​.
    • Anti-Tank Munitions: The DAC approved the procurement of two types of Anti-tank Munitions, namely, Area Denial Munition (ADM) Type-2 and Type-3. These munitions are designed to neutralize tanks, armored personnel carriers, and enemy personnel​​​​.
    • Towed Gun Systems: To replace the aging Indian Field Gun (IFG), the DAC granted approval for the procurement of state-of-the-art Towed Gun Systems (TGS), set to become a mainstay of the Indian Army’s artillery forces​​​​.
    • Naval Capabilities: The procurement includes Medium Range Anti-Ship Missiles (MRAShM) for the Indian Navy, envisioned as a lightweight Surface-to-Surface Missile and a primary offensive weapon onboard Indian Naval Ships​​​​​​.
  3. Upgrades and Integrations:
    • Su-30 MKI Aircraft: The DAC has approved the upgradation of Su-30 MKI Aircraft indigenously by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), aiming to enhance the capabilities of existing fighter fleets​​​​​​.
    • Automatic Target Tracker and Digital Basaltic Computer for T-90 Tanks: These integrations are meant to maintain the combative edge of T-90 tanks over adversary platforms​​​​.
  4. Long-Term Induction and Development: The Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) has been granted for these procurements, leading to ensuing contract negotiations. While the final induction of these systems may take at least a decade, this move is a testament to India’s commitment to fostering domestic innovation and capabilities​​.
  5. Policy Amendments for Indigenisation: The DAC has approved a major amendment in the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020, mandating a minimum of 50% indigenous content in all categories of procurement. This amendment aims to maximize indigenization and encourage the participation of startups and MSMEs in the defense ecosystem​​.

These decisions by the DAC represent a significant shift towards enhancing India’s military capabilities while simultaneously bolstering its domestic defense industry. The focus on indigenous manufacturing and innovation underscores India’s strategic objective of reducing dependence on foreign defense equipment manufacturers.



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