DAC clears Rs65,000-cr Defence procurements

DAC clears Rs 65000-cr Defence procurements

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Thursday cleared procurements worth over Rs 65,000 crore — including purchase of S-400 Triumf air Defence system worth over Rs 39,000 crore from Russia, six new Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher regiments costing Rs14,600 crore and five support ships to the tune of Rs9,000 crore.

Chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, the DAC also gave its nod for procurement of 571 bulletproof vehicles worth Rs310 crore for the Army for its counter-insurgency operations and 120 trawls to clear anti-tank mines. These trawls to be bought from Russia will be fitted on to T-72 and T-90 tanks.

The most important clearance, however, was for the five units of S-400 missile systems for the IAF as it is a critical operational requirement.

This Russian-made air Defence missile system is rated to be the most advanced equipment in the world as it can track and shoot down a missile or a hostile aircraft at a distance of more than 400 km.  Incidentally, China has already placed an order for ten such systems from Russia.

It had inducted these missiles in 2007. Officials said the final price of the S-400 system will be decided during price negotiations expected to start sometime next year. They also said induction of S-400s will increase air Defence capability manifold as it can ward off a threat from long range.

The deal is likely to figure during summit level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin during Modi’s visit to Moscow later this month.

Among the other deals, the DAC okayed raising of six more Pinaka regiments. The deal is under the ‘Make-In-India’ category and the Army will procure these rocket launchers from Larsen & Toubro and Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML). The Army already has two regiments and two more are in process of getting raised. One regiment has 18 multi-barrel rocket launchers.

In an effort to provide more security to troops engaged in anti-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir, the DAC approved procurement of 571 light bulletproof vehicles under the ‘Buy Indian’ category. Private manufacturers specialising in this field of bulletproof vehicles will figure prominently in this project, officials said.

Another proposal to enable the Army to effectively monitor enemy communication in mountainous region — including interception, better communication and jamming, the DAC approved procurement of two electronic warfare system sets. The project will cost Rs 425 crore and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) will manufacture it.

The Navy was given the go-ahead for five fleet support vessels to provide logistic back up to warships operating far from shore. The Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HAL) will build these ships which double up as tankers and workshops and each ship will weigh more than 30,000 tonnes. The DAC last year had approved this project under ‘Buy India’ category through open tender but changed it to ‘Make in India’ on Thursday, officials said. The IAF got the nod for a project worth over Rs 1,200 crore for digitisation of its 24 Pichora air Defence missile system. This proposal falls in the category of ‘Buy and Make in India,’ officials added.

-18 December 2015 | PNS | New Delhi