Purchase of indigenous air defence guns, ammo worth Rs 6K cr cleared

New Delhi (IANS) In a boost for the air defence system, the Defence Ministry on Friday approved the proposals concerning modernisation of its the Army’s air defence guns.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), in its meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has approved proposals concerning capital acquisitions of various equipment for modernisation and operational needs of the armed forces amounting to approx Rs 6,000 crore.

Noting that there was a long-pending need of the Indian Army for modernisation of its air defence guns, the Defence Ministry said: “These had been earlier procured only from foreign sources. With the continued thrust of the Ministry of Defence towards ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’, an enthusiastic response from about a dozen Indian companies was received.”

All of them have expressed their willingness and commitment to manufacture this complex gun system and associated equipment by ensuring technology assimilation in India, it said.

Accordingly, the DAC accorded approval of procurement of air defence guns and ammunition at an approximately cost of Rs 6,000 crore under the Buy and Make (Indian) category.

Further to better equip the armed forces to meet the operational challenges and facilitate faster induction of required arms and ammunitions, the DAC extended the timelines for progressing urgent capital acquisitions under the delegated powers to the armed forces upto August 31, 2021. This will enable the armed forces to complete their emergent and critical acquisitions.

The Defence Ministry had earmarked around 64 per cent of its modernisation funds under the capital acquisition budget for 2021-22 — a sum of over Rs 70,000 crore — for purchases from the domestic sector. It was an increase from 2020-21, when a capital budget allocation for domestic vendors was first made. At 58 per cent, this came to an amount of Rs 52,000 crore.

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