• The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for nine capital acquisition proposals of around Rs 45,000 crore.
• The AoN refers to the initial approval to any defence acquisition project.
• The meeting of the DAC was chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
• All these procurements will be made from Indian vendors under Buy (Indian-Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDMM)/Buy (Indian) category which will give substantial boost to the Indian defence Industry towards achieving the goal of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
• To enhance protection, mobility, attack capability and increase survivability of mechanised forces, the DAC accorded the approval for procurement of Light Armoured Multipurpose Vehicles (LAMV) and Integrated Surveillance and Targeting System (ISAT-S).
• The DAC cleared the procurement of High Mobility Vehicle (HMV) gun towing vehicles for swift mobilisation and deployment of artillery guns and radars.
• The DAC further approved procurement of next generation survey vessels for the Indian Navy which will enhance its capabilities in performing hydrographic operations.
• A proposal of the Indian Air Force to ensure avionic upgrade of Dornier aircraft to improve the accuracy and reliability for operations was also given the AoN.
• The procurement of Dhruvastra short range air-to-surface missile as a potent Indigenous Precision Guided Weapon for indigenously built ALH Mk-IV Helicopters has been cleared by the DAC.
• The AoN for procurement of 12 Su-30 MKI Aircraft with associated equipment from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was also accorded.
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:
i) Give in principle approval of a 15 years Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP) for defence forces.
ii) Accord of acceptance of necessity to acquisition proposals.
iii) Categorisation of the acquisition proposals relating to ‘Buy’, ‘Buy & Make’ and ‘Make’.
iv) Look into issues relating to single vendor clearance.
v) Take decisions regarding ‘offset’ provisions in respect of acquisition proposals above Rs 300 crore.
vi) Take decisions regarding Transfer of Technology under the ‘Buy & Make’ category of acquisition proposals.
vii) Field trial evaluation.