India’s DAC approves $1.06bn defence equipment procurement

HAL light utility helicopter model kit. Credit: Jyotirmoy2509 / commons.wikimedia.org.

The Defense Acquisition Council of India (DAC) approved the purchase of locally produced weapons and military equipment for Rs 79,650 million ($ 1.06 billion).

The DAC is the highest decision-making body of the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) on the procurement of weapons.

Awarded the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for capital acquisition proposals including the purchase of 12 light utility helicopters (LUH) from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the Lynx U2 naval fire control system from Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL ).

In a statement, the Defense Ministry said that all these proposals are part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The acquisition will modernize and address the operational needs of the armed forces, helping to improve the tracking and engagement capabilities of India’s warships.

The DAC also approved the mid-life upgrade of HAL’s Dornier aircraft to increase naval coastal surveillance and maritime reconnaissance capabilities.

In November 2019, India applied for the sale of 13 MK 45 5in / 62 caliber naval guns (MOD 4) and related equipment from the US BAE Systems Land and Armaments was the prime contractor.

The sale was approved by the US State Department and notified to Congress.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement: “As a further boost to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, a case of global naval weapons procurement has been ruled out with the quantity of these weapons added to the enhanced super-fast pistol mount (SRGM) that is manufacturing Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

“These SRGMs provide niche capabilities to engage rapid-maneuver targets using guided munitions and range extensions and are to be installed on Indian Navy warships.”

In June this year, the DAC approved a key project to build six new conventional submarines for the Indian Navy at a cost of around $ 5.88 billion.

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