In the latest move towards self-reliance in defence, India on Monday cleared the purchase of indigenous military hardware worth IRs.76,390 crore to sharpen the country’s combat capabilities with next-generation warships, wheeled armoured fighting vehicles with anti-tank guided missiles, weapon locating radars and bridge-laying tanks, the defence ministry informed.
The defence acquisition council (DAC) – India’s apex procurement body – accorded its acceptance of necessity (AoN) for the capital acquisition proposals. Under India’s defence procurement rules, AoN by the council, headed by defence minister Rajnath Singh, is the first step towards purchasing military hardware.
The proposals have been greenlit by DAC under acquisition categories that seek to promote self-reliance in the defence manufacturing sector.
“This will provide substantial boost to the Indian defence industry and reduce foreign spending significantly,” said the ministry. Next-generation corvettes for the navy will cost around ?36,000 crore and will be used for surveillance missions, escort operations, search and attack, deterrence, and coastal defence, officials said. “These corvettes will be based on a new in-house design of the Indian Navy using latest technology, and would contribute to further the government’s initiative of SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region),” the ministry pointed out.
The chief takeaways from the Russia-Ukraine conflict include the urgent need for diversification of weapon purchases, maximum possible indigenisation of spares and sub-systems to keep Russian-origin equipment serviceable, and, most importantly, staying laser-focused on achieving atmanirbharta (self-reliance) to meet India’s growing defence needs, as previously reported.