On September 15, the Government of India took a significant step towards strengthening the country’s defense capabilities by approving a series of proposals. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, gave the green light to nine acquisition proposals, amounting to a total of Rs 45,000 crore. These proposals encompassed various aspects of defense, from the Indian Air Force’s modernization to improving the Indian Navy’s capabilities and enhancing the overall indigenous content in defense projects.
Enhancing the Indian Air Force
One of the key decisions made by the DAC was the approval of the procurement of 12 Su-30MKI aircraft for the Indian Air Force. These advanced fighter jets will be manufactured in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a significant step towards bolstering the nation’s indigenous defense production capabilities. The project involves not only the assembly of aircraft but also the development of related ground systems.
Crucially, these Su-30MKIs will need to incorporate more than 60 percent indigenous content, marking a substantial stride in achieving self-reliance in defense production. These aircraft will be equipped with state-of-the-art Indian weapons and sensors, enhancing the Indian Air Force’s operational capabilities.
A Boost for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’
The Indian Ministry of Defence emphasized that all these procurements will be sourced from Indian vendors under the Buy Indian-Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDDM)/Buy (Indian) category. This move aligns with the goal of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat,’ or self-reliant India, by promoting indigenous defense manufacturing and reducing reliance on foreign imports.
Indian Air Force Upgrades
In addition to the Su-30MKI procurement, the Indian Air Force is set to receive crucial upgrades. The DAC approved avionic upgrades for Dornier aircraft, enhancing their accuracy and reliability for operations. Furthermore, the Dhruvastra Short Range Air-to-Surface Missile, a potent indigenous precision-guided weapon, will be provided for the indigenously built ALH Mk-IV choppers. These enhancements will significantly improve the Air Force’s capabilities.
Strengthening Mechanized Forces
The DAC also focused on enhancing the protection, mobility, attack capability, and survivability of mechanized forces. It approved proposals to procure Light Armoured Multipurpose Vehicles (LAMV) and Integrated Surveillance and Targeting System (ISAT-S). Additionally, High Mobility Vehicle (HMV) Gun Towing Vehicles will be acquired to facilitate swift mobilization and deployment of artillery guns and radars. These acquisitions will bolster India’s mechanized forces and increase their readiness.
Next-Generation Survey Vessels for the Indian Navy
Furthermore, The Indian Navy will receive a substantial upgrade with the approval of the procurement of Next Generation Survey Vessels. These vessels will significantly enhance the Navy’s capabilities in performing hydrographic operations, strengthening its maritime presence and security.