INDIA. Mumbai: The Government of India made a historic decision on Thursday to further indigenize weapons and platforms as part of “Aatmnirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India), releasing the third affirmative list of 101 items.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveiled a list of 101 items, including significant equipment and platforms, that will now be bought from domestic companies under the terms of the Defense Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020.
The first list of 101 products was released on August 21, 2020, and the second list of 108 items was released on May 31, 2021.
Ammunition import replacement, which is a recurring requirement, has received special attention.
It may be recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on February 25, during a post-budget webinar ‘Aatmanirbharta in Defence: Call to Action’ appreciated the indigenization efforts of MoD and announced that the third positive indigenization list will be promulgated soon.
The list, notified on Thursday by the Department of Military Affairs, Ministry of Defence (MoD), lays special focus on equipment/systems, which are being developed and likely to translate into firm orders in the next five years.
These weapons and platforms are planned to be indigenized progressively with effect from December 2022 to December 2027, an official statement said.
The spirit behind issuing these three lists comprising 310 defence equipment, slated to be manufactured locally, reflects the growing confidence of the Government in the capabilities of the domestic industry that they can supply equipment of international standards to meet the demand of the Armed Forces.
It is likely to stimulate the potential of indigenous Research & Development (R&D) by attracting fresh investment into technology and manufacturing capabilities, Singh said.
The third list comprises highly complex Systems, Sensors, Weapons, and Ammunitions like Light Weight Tanks, Mounted Arty Gun Systems (155mmX 52Cal), Guided Extended Range (GER) Rocket for PINAKA MLRS, Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH), Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), MF STAR (Radar For Ships), Medium-Range Anti-Ship Missile (Naval Variant), Advance Light Weight Torpedo (Ship Launch), High Endurance Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (MALE UAV), Anti-Radiation Missiles, Loitering Munitions. Their details are available on the MoD website.
This third positive indigenization list has been prepared after in-depth consultations with all stakeholders, such as the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Department of Defence Production (DDP), Service Headquarters (HQ), and the private industry. Singh assured that similar to the previous two lists, the time limit is given in the third list will also be adhered to.
The Ministry of Defence and the Service headquarters will take all necessary steps, including handholding of the industry, reiterating the Government’s endeavour to create an ecosystem that ensures self-reliance in defence manufacturing and encourages exports.
The DRDO, too, pitched in to strengthen local manufacturing by signing 30 Transfer of Technology (ToT) agreements with 25 industries. Singh handed over the agreements about 21 technologies developed by 16 DRDO laboratories spread across the country.
These technologies concern Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG), developed by a DRDO Young Scientist Lab (DYSL- QT, Pune), Counter Drone System, Laser Directed Energy Weapon System, Missile Warhead, High Explosive Materials, High-Grade Steel, Specialised Materials, Propellants, Surveillance & Reconnaissance, Radar Warning Receivers, CBRN UGVs, Mine Barriers, Fire Fighting Suits, Boots for Anti Mine, etc.
So far, DRDO has entered into more than 1,430 ToT agreements with Indian industries, out of which, a record number of around 450 ToT agreements were signed in the last two years.
Singh described the third list as a symbol of 360-degree efforts being made by the
Government to achieve the PM’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. Singh said the handing over of 30 ToT agreements to the Industry shows the increasing trust of Indian industries in DRDO-developed indigenous technologies. He said 68 percent of the capital procurement budget has been earmarked for domestic procurement to promote self-reliance and reduce import dependency.
The other measures include the earmarking of 25 percent of the defence R&D budget for the industry, start-ups, and academia, and the corporatization of the Ordnance Factory Board.
“When orders for defence items are given to the domestic defence industry, it provides employment to lakhs of people working in MSMEs connected to the sector, spread across the country,” he added.
The Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, Vice Chief of the Army Staff Lt Gen Manoj Pande, Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr. G Satheesh Reddy, other senior civil and military officials of MoD and representatives of the industry were present on the occasion.
Also Read: A Pact between the Military Station and AVBRH for In situ Medical Facilities