Defence Acquisition Council approves projects to boost capabilities of armed forces

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What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in news?
  • What is Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)?
  • What is Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020?
  • About ‘Make’ Category
  • News Summary: Defence Acquisition Council approves projects to boost capabilities of armed forces
  • Key highlights

Why in news?

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), under the chairmanship of defence minister Rajnath Singh, cleared capital acquisition proposals worth Rs 84,560 crore.
  • This has been done to boost the capabilities of the Armed Forces and the Indian Coast Guard.

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)

  • About
    • DAC is the highest decision-making body in the Ministry of Defence.
    • It decides on new policies and capital acquisitions for the Indian military, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Indian Coast Guard.
    • The DAC is headed by the Defence Minister.
  • Responsibility
    • The DAC is responsible for the procurement and acquisition of weapons and equipment for the Indian military.
    • This includes weaponry, armored vehicles, advanced communication systems, and surveillance equipment.
    • The DAC approves projects in three ways:
      • Buy projects: An outright purchase
      • Buy and make projects: A purchase followed by licensed production or indigenous development
      • Make projects: Indigenous production and R&D

Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020

  • About
    • The DAP 2020 has been established as a potential catalyst for the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, in the sector of defence manufacturing.
    • It focuses on simplifying the defence acquisition and institutionalising monitoring mechanism for selection of best equipment in a transparent and competitive manner.
  • Salient Features of DAP 2020
    • Notification of positive indigenisation lists in respect of weapons/platforms to ensure that equipment mentioned in the list is not procured through import.
    • Highest priority to procurement under Buy (Indian-Indigenous Design, Development & Manufacture [IDDM]) category.
    • Reservation for MSMEs and small shipyards for orders up to Rs 100 crore/year.
    • Increased Indigenous Content (IC) in various categories of procurement under DAP-2020.
    • Introduction of new category of Buy (Global-Manufacture in India) to give push to 'Make in India' initiative of the Government.
    • Indigenisation of imported spares through Make-III Process introduced with the aim of enhancing self-reliance through import substitution.

About ‘Make’ Category

  • The 'Make' category of capital acquisition seeks to build indigenous capabilities through the involvement of both public and private sector.
  • 'Make-I' refers to government-funded projects while 'Make-II' covers industry-funded projects.
  • ‘Make-III’ covers military hardware that may not be designed and developed indigenously, but can be manufactured in the country for import substitution.
  • Indian firms may manufacture these in collaboration with foreign partners.

News Summary: Defence Acquisition Council approves projects to boost capabilities of armed forces

  • DAC accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN), the first step in the procurement process, for proposals worth ₹84,560 crore.
    • The grant of AoN does not always lead to a final order.

Key highlights

  • Proposals
    • These proposals include:
      • 15 maritime reconnaissance and multi-mission maritime aircraft for the Navy and the Coast Guard,
      • Six flight refueller aircraft for the IAF,
      • New generation anti-tank mines for the Army,
      • Heavy weight torpedoes (HWT) for the Navy’s Scorpene-class submarines.
    • The DAC approved changes to the DAP 2020 concerning benchmarking, cost computation, payment schedules, procurement quantities, and other aspects.
      • These amendments were approved to promote procurement of advanced technologies from start-ups and MSMEs.
    • The approvals lay special emphasis on procurement of various equipment from Indian vendors.
  • Significance
    • The aircraft will be a major addition to the existing P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft used by the forces for surveillance patrols and interdiction.
      • It will significantly augment the capability of the forces.
    • When inducted, the refuellers would fill a critical capability gap in the IAF’s inventory.
    • It would prove to be a vital strategic asset and a force multiplier as they will allow fighter jets to stay airborne longer.
      • Currently, the IAF operates a fleet of six Russian IIyushin-78 tankers procured in 2003-04.
      • However, at any given time only three-four are serviceable.
    • The procurement of software-defined radios for the Coast Guard will meet its need for high-speed communication and secure networking, enabling seamless information exchange between the ICG and Indian Navy units.

Q1) What is Indian Coast Guard (ICG)?

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is a maritime law enforcement and search and rescue agency in India. The ICG was established in 1977 by the Coast Guard Act of 1978. The ICG's jurisdiction includes India's territorial waters, contiguous zone, and exclusive economic zone.

Q2) What is Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan?

Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is the mission started by the Government of India on 13th May 2020, towards making India Self-reliant.

Source: Recce aircraft to anti-tank mines: Green light to big-ticket purchases | Times of India | The Hindu