- The soldiers stationed near the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan will benefit from increased protection provided by the bulletproof jackets.
- The DAC also authorised a naval request to purchase 14 quick patrol boats for the Indian Coast Guard with 60% indigenous content
India has approved weapon purchases worth 28,732 crore, including armed drone swarms, carbines, and bullet-proof jackets that will be designed and developed in the country, the Union ministry of defence said on Tuesday. This is a significant step toward Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of self-reliance in the defence manufacturing sector.
According to officials with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the close-quarter carbines will be used by front-line soldiers stationed along India’s borders, including the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China where the two nations have been engaged in a tense standoff since May 2020.
At a meeting presided over by the defence minister Rajnath Singh, the defence acquisition council (DAC), the top body in India for purchasing weapons, gave the capital acquisition proposals its acceptance of necessity (AoN). AoN by the council is the initial step in the military equipment purchase process in India.
In light of the fact that drone technology is proving to be a force multiplier in military operations and recent conflicts around the world, the acquisition of autonomous surveillance and armed drone swarms was approved to strengthen the army’s capability in modern warfare, the defence ministry said in a statement.
Last year, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) demonstrated indigenous capability to conduct offensive missions in enemy territory with a large number of drones working in various formations to identify, encircle, and strike targets, as well as loitering munitions being developed to meet a crucial military need of our soldiers.
The army is collaborating with the defence sector on a new list of “Make in India” initiatives, according to the officials, including surveillance and armed drone swarms. A swarm of drones can execute a variety of objectives, including attacks on tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, ammo storage facilities, fuel depots, and terror launch pads.
According to a statement from the defence ministry, the DAC also approved the procurement of almost 400,000 close-quarters carbines “to battle the current complex paradigm” of conventional warfare, hybrid warfare, and counterterrorism at the frontiers.
According to the ministry, “this is anticipated to provide a big push to India’s small arms manufacturing industry and enhance aatmanirbharta (self-reliance).”
Over the past two to three years, India has taken a variety of steps to increase self-reliance in the defence manufacturing industry, including limiting imports and allocating cash for domestic purchase.
“Several projects have been approved for the domestic industry, and India is making deliberate, consistent, and concentrated progress toward achieving aatmanirbharta in the defence sector. Carbines are desperately needed by frontline troops, according to former military operations director Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia (retd).
The soldiers stationed near the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan will benefit from increased protection provided by the bulletproof jackets.
The DAC granted AoN for bullet-proof jackets with Indian Standard BIS VI level of protection, the ministry said, “considering the necessity for increased protection against the threat of enemy snipers to our troops stationed along the LoC and in close combat operations in counter-terrorism situation.”
However, it was able to “overachieve this aim,” and local military acquisitions accounted for 65.5 percent of the capital budget, as was previously reported. The defence ministry had allocated 64 percent of the capital acquisition budget for domestic industry in 2021–22.
In addition to allocating 25% of the defence research and development (R&D) budget to private industry, start-ups, and university, India has set aside 84,598 crore, or 68% of the military’s capital acquisition budget, for the purchase of domestically produced weapons and systems.
The DAC also authorised a naval request to purchase 14 quick patrol boats for the Indian Coast Guard with 60% indigenous content, as well as a marine gas turbine generator with a capacity of 1250KW that has been improved domestically.
A gradual import ban has been enforced by the government on 310 distinct kinds of weapons and equipment. Lightweight tanks, naval utility helicopters, artillery guns, missiles, destroyers, ship-borne cruise missiles, light combat and light transport aircraft, long-range land-attack cruise missiles, basic trainer aircraft, multi-barrel rocket launchers, assault rifles, sniper rifles, specific types of helicopters, next-generation corvettes, and airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) systems are some of these.