India is considering and is purchasing weaponry which includes unmanned aerial vehicles, light tanks and anti tank guided missiles, fighters, missiles, etc both from the international and indigenous arms market
The armed forces have been granted special powers to purchase up to Rs 300 crore of weapons and equipment for “emergent operational requirements”.
This will shrink the procurement timelines and ensure placement of orders within six months and commencement of deliveries within one year. The decision was taken at a DAC (defence acquisition council) meeting led by defence minister Rajnath Singh on 15 July 2020.
The ministry said the special meeting was convened “considering the security environment due to the prevailing situation along the northern borders and the need to strengthen the armed forces for the defence of our borders.”
The devolution of financial powers to the three services comes in light of ongoing military tensions with China.
India is considering and is purchasing weaponry which includes unmanned aerial vehicles, light tanks and anti tank guided missiles, fighters, missiles, etc both from the international and indigenous arms market.
DAC on 2 July 2020 approved capital acquisition of several frontline fighter jets, missile system and several platforms at a cost of Rs 38,900 crore.
This includes procurement of 21 MIG-29 along with upgradation of existing 59 MIG-29 aircraft and procurement of 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft.
The approved clearance also includes Pinaka ammunitions, BMP armament upgrades and software defined radios for the Indian Army, Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile Systems and Astra Missiles for the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force (IAF).
According to several media reports, the Indian Army is proposing to purchase 72,000 additional American Sig Sauer 716 assault rifles to sharpen the teeth of the infantry.
The Army, in December 2019 had received the first batch of American Sig rifles to boost counter-terrorism operations. The previous order was placed through the fast track procedure (FTP) programme for 72,000 units. It is said to be worth Rs7bn (USD93m).
Additionally, the Indian army is also keen to procure RQ-11 UAV Raven – unmanned aerial vehicle from the US besides Israeli Spike Firefly “loitering” munition to support its ground soldiers. The Hindustan Times reported that the procurement would include 200 units of RQ-11 UAV. These drones will help infantry troops conduct reconnaissance of the battle theatre ahead.
As part of emergency purchases due to the Ladakh standoff with China, the Indian army also brought Spike Mark III anti-tank guided missiles from Israel. Additionally, it is now buying firefly ammunition as well.
Meanwhile, the IAF is also all set to receive its first six of the 36 Rafale jets which are expected to land in India on 27 July 2020.