The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved procurement proposals worth about Rs 46,000 crore, including that of 111 utility helicopters for the Indian Navy at a cost of over Rs 21,000 crore under the Strategic Partnership (SP) Model.
“The DAC, in a landmark decision today, approved procurement of 111 Utility Helicopters for the Indian Navy at a cost of over Rs 21,000 crore. This is the first project under the MoD’s prestigious Strategic Partnership model that aims at providing significant fillip to the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme,” an official release said.
The SP model envisages indigenous manufacturing of major defence platforms by an Indian Strategic Partner, who will collaborate with foreign original equipment manufacturer, acquire niche technologies and set up production facilities in the country. The SP model has a long-term vision of promoting India as a manufacturing hub for defence equipment thus enhancing self-sufficiency and establishing an industrial and research and development (R&D) ecosystem, capable of meeting the future requirements of the armed forces. “The contract when finalised would result in a vibrant and wide-spread defence industrial eco-system in the Indian aviation sector with the private industry and MSMEs as major stakeholders,” it said.
Other proposals cleared by the DAC include procurement of 150 indigenously designed and developed 155 mm advanced towed artillery gun systems for the Indian Army at an approximate cost of Rs 3,364.78 crores. These guns have been indigenously designed and developed by DRDO and will be manufactured by production agencies nominated by DRDO. They are likely to be the mainstay of artillery in the near future.