MoD green-lights acquisitions worth Rs 76,390 crore (US $10 billion) - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Monday 6 June 2022

MoD green-lights acquisitions worth Rs 76,390 crore (US $10 billion)

Navy to build seven next-generation corvettes for Rs 36,000 crore (photo: ASW corvette INS Kavaratti)


By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 7th June 22


The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the defence ministry’s apex procurement body chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh,on Monday green lighted armed forces capital acquisition proposals for the military amounting to Rs 76,390 crore.


The defence ministry has announced that the clearance is under the high-priority categories of ‘Buy (Indian)’, ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ and ‘Buy (Indian - Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured),’ or ‘Buy Indian (IDDM)”.


“This will provide a substantial boost to the Indian defence industry and reduce foreign spending significantly,” stated the ministry.


While that is true, it is noteworthy that the defence ministry has only accorded “Acceptance of Necessity” (AoN) for the purchases, which is just the first stage of a long-winded acquisition process. It can take anything from five-to-fifteen years for an AoN to translate into a contract and for the actual delivery of military equipment and platforms.


For the Indian Navy, the DAC accorded AoNs for procurement of seven next generation corvettes (NGC), at an estimated cost of approximately Rs 36,000 crore. 


“These NGCs will be versatile platforms for a variety of roles, viz. surveillance missions, escort operations, deterrence, surface action group (SAG) operations, search and attack and coastal defence,” stated the defence ministry.


Corvettes are the smallest vessels in the category of capital warships. They are traditionally between 500-to-2000 tonnes, while a frigate, the size class above a corvette, is roughly between 2,000-to-5,000 tonnes. In modern usage, the types of ships below corvettes are coastal patrol craft, missile boats and fast attack craft.


The navy has specified that the corvettes must have a range that exceeds 4,000 nautical miles and must be capable of sailing at 27 knots. The 120 meter long, single-hull corvette must have low radar, acoustic, magnetic, visual and infra-red signatures. It wants active towed array sonar and two light-weight torpedo launchers fitted to the corvettes.


“These NGCs would be constructed based on the new in-house design of the Navy, using the latest technology of ship building and would contribute to furthering the government’s initiative of SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region),” said the MoD.


“For the Indian Army, the DAC accorded fresh AoNs for procurement of rough terrain forklift trucks (RTFLTs), bridge laying tanks (BLTs), wheeled armoured fighting vehicles (Wh AFVs) with anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and weapon locating radars (WLRs) through domestic sources with emphasis on indigenous design and development,” said the defence ministry.


For the Indian Air Force (IAF), the DAC accorded AoNs for manufacture by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) of Dornier-228 reconnaissance aircraft, and Sukhoi-30 MKI aero-engines.


“The focus [will be] on enhancing indigenization, particularly on indigenising aero-engine material,” said the DAC.


In pursuance of the government’s vision for digital transformation in defence, the DAC approved the “Digital Coast Guard” project under the Buy (Indian) acquisition category. Under this project, a secure, pan-India network will be established for digitising various surface and aviation operations, logistics, finance, and human resource processes in the Coast Guard.

1 comment:

  1. What's the difference between this corvette and the NGMV? Is the NGMV anywhere near completion for that matter?


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