In a bid to push the Make in India agenda, the Ministry of Defence on January 14 is learnt to have foreclosed some vital army procurement programmes being pursued by means of the import route. 

The axed tenders embody the over $1 Billion import of 14 helicopters for the Indian Coast Guard and the Quick Reaction Surface-to-air Missile System (QRSAM) for the Indian Army, highly-placed sources indicated. The QRSAM programme was additionally price over a Billion Dollars. 

The choice was taken at a gathering of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired remotely by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who’s recovering from Covid. It was additionally attended by Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and the three service chiefs. 

This step is a part of a evaluate of all army procurement programmes underneath the Buy Global class of the Defence Acquisition Procedure and its predecessor, the Defence Procurement Procedure, involving outright import of apparatus. This has put proposed arms imports price billions of {dollars} on the road. 

While there was no official phrase on this assembly, it’s also reliably learnt {that a} follow-up assembly of the DAC is scheduled for January 20 to evaluate extra offers by means of the import route. Proposals reportedly on the chopping block embody the import of 60 Kamov-226 helicopters for the Indian Army and the long-pending $1.3 Billion Very Short-Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) programme.

A Foreclosure and Deferment List reportedly contains the continuing procurement programmes for Heavy Weight Torpedoes, refurbished MiG-29 fighters, Self-Propelled Air Defence Gun Missile System, towed 155 mm artillery, ship-borne unmanned programs and 6 further P8I lengthy vary maritime reconnaissance plane.

The objective of the evaluate is to determine whether or not these programmes might be recast to offer Indian Industry the lead. Proposals for Government-to-Government contracts underneath the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route are additionally being reportedly reconsidered. 

The large evaluate of import of army gear has reportedly been taken up on the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has sought an even bigger push to indigenous procurement. 

Following the Prime Ministerial directive for a extra seen dedication to Atmanirbhar Bharat/Make in India agenda, an Additional Secretary within the Ministry of Defence is reported to have written to an advisory to all providers. “All stakeholders may take an in-principle call that no import of defence items is going forward,” the Additional Secretary reportedly suggested. 

The providers and the Coast Guard had earlier been reportedly directed to arrange a listing of procurements in-the-pipeline from overseas distributors which could possibly be scrapped or placed on maintain.  

“There’s clarity that the Buy Indian (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured) category will get top billing. What will follow in order of priority is Make in India categories with transfer of technology from foreign vendors. The Buy Global category is to be the last resort in the event of critical operational necessity,” sources defined. 

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