Nine procurement bids totaling around 45,000 crore have been approved by the Indian defence ministry, including one to buy 12 Su-30 MKI fighter jets made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). According to defence sources, the $11,000 crore initiative will fund the aircraft as well as accompanying ground systems.
“As per the criterion, the aircraft would have more than 60% indigenous content. These would be the Indian Air Force’s most advanced Su-30 MKI aircraft, outfitted with a variety of Indian armaments and sensors, according to officials.
Purchasing Dhruvastra air-to-surface missiles and upgrading Dornier planes are also included in the proposals.
The ‘Make in India’ initiative’s purchase proposals were approved notwithstanding the ongoing border conflict with China in eastern Ladakh.
The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) request to replace the Dornier fleet’s avionics in order to increase accuracy and reliability is approved, which is noteworthy given that technical issues with the aircraft were reported on a number of times earlier this year.
The defence ministry released a statement saying that the “Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for nine capital acquisition proposals of approximately 45,000 crore.”
Any defence acquisition project’s initial approval is referred to as the AoN. Rajnath Singh, the defence minister, presided over the DAC meeting that decided to approve the nine recommendations.
According to the defence ministry, “all these purchases will be made from Indian vendors under the Buy (Indian-Indigenously Designed, Developed, and Manufactured (IDMM)/Buy (Indian) category, which will provide the Indian defence industry a significant boost towards realising the aim of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”
Singh said during the DAC meeting that it was time to raise the bar for indigenization goals. “We should aim for a minimum 60-65 percent indigenous content,” he stated, “rather than a threshold of 50% indigenous content for IDDM projects.”
The DAC approved the purchase of Light Armoured Multipurpose Vehicles (LAMV) and Integrated Surveillance and Targeting System (ISAT-S) to improve the protection, mobility, attack capability, and increase survivability of mechanised troops, according to a statement.
The DAC approved the purchase of High Mobility Vehicle (HMV) gun towing vehicles as well, allowing for the quick mobilisation and deployment of radars and artillery guns.
According to the ministry, the DAC also approved the purchase of next-generation survey vessels for the Indian Navy.
The purchase of the powerful indigenous precision guided weapon Dhruvastra Short Range Air-to-Surface Missile for locally constructed ALH Mk-IV Helicopters has been approved by the DAC, according to the ministry.
“The AoN for procurement of 12 Su-30 MKI Aircraft with associated equipment from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was also accorded,” it said.