The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for capital acquisition of a plethora of indigenously-developed military hardware including indigenous BrahMos missiles, marine diesel engine, artillery gun system, electronic warfare suits and utility helicopters at a cost of Rs 70,584 crore as part of a mega procurement plan.
The total approval granted for capital acquisition in the financial year 2022-23 now stands at Rs 2,71,538 crore, out of which 98.9 per cent of the procurement will be sourced from the Indian industries.
What is the role of the Defence Acquisition Council?
• Pursuant to the recommendations made by the group of ministers on reforming the national security system in February 2001, a separate, dedicated structure for defence procurement was set up.
• In continuation of its efforts to streamline defence procurement procedures and to reduce timelines so as to ensure timely delivery of equipment to the armed forces, various measures to simplify the defence procurement procedure have been undertaken.
• A Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) was created as an overarching structure with the defence minister as its chairman.
• The DAC is the highest decision-making body of the defence ministry on procurement.
• The defence minister is the chairman of DAC. Its members include Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force.
• The main objective of the DAC is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the armed forces in terms of capabilities sought and time frame prescribed by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.
Its functions include:
• Give in principle approval of a 15 years Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) for defence forces.
• Accord of acceptance of necessity to acquisition proposals.
• Categorisation of the acquisition proposals relating to ‘Buy’, ‘Buy & Make’ and ‘Make’.
• Look into issues relating to single vendor clearance.
• Take decisions regarding ‘offset’ provisions in respect of acquisition proposals above Rs 300 crore.
• Take decisions regarding Transfer of Technology under the ‘Buy & Make’ category of acquisition proposals.
• Field trial evaluation.
New procurement proposals
• The DAC accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for capital acquisition amounting to Rs 70,584 crore and all the procurement will be made under the Buy IndianIDDM Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) category.
• Out of the total acquisition plan, the Indian Navy’s proposals constitute more than Rs 56,000 crore, which largely included Shakti Electronic Warfare (EW) systems, maritime helicopters and other key equipment.
• All the platforms and weapons systems are being procured from domestic sources.
• The approval for a medium speed marine diesel engine is seen as a significant step as for the first time, India is venturing into the development and manufacturing of such engines indigenously.
• The DAC accorded the approval to Indian Air Force’s proposal for Long Range Stand-Off Weapon (LRSOW) which will be indigenously designed, developed and integrated on SU-30 MKI aircraft.
• For artillery modernisation, in addition to the ongoing Dhanush Gun System and K-9 Vajra-T Gun System, AoN for procurement of 155mm/52 Caliber Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) along with High Mobility Vehicles (HMVs) and Gun Towing Vehicles (GTVs) for the Indian Army was accorded by the DAC.
• It also accorded AoN for procurement of Advance Light Helicopters (ALH) MK-III from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Coast Guard. The helicopter will be able to carry a suite of surveillance sensors which will enhance the surveillance capabilities.
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