The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has approved a whopping budget of Rs 15,935 crore for military, under which, all three Indian defence wings’ armoury will be upgraded with new light machine guns, assault rifles and sniper rifles.
In a major push to the defence wing of India, the DAC has approved the mega purchase for military worth a total of Rs 15,935 crore on Tuesday. The proposal was approved under ‘Acceptance of Necessity’ (AON) category, for which tenders will now start floating around for companies and private artilleries for bidding. The procurement of an essential quantity of light machine guns (LMGs) for all three defence wings will be made under fast-track priority. So a total of 17,000 light machines worth Rs 1819 crore for all three services will be processed under fast-track category. Apart from the fast-track processing, the DAC has approved procurement of 7.4 lakh assault rifles which will be ‘Made in India’ under the categorisation of ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’. These India made armours will be manufacture by both Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and private industry at an estimated cost of ₹12,280 crore.
The new assault rifles be of 7.62mm calibre and the carbines of 5.56mm calibre and will be replaceing the indigenous INSAS rifles of the Indian army. Also, the DAC has approved the procurement of 5,719 sniper rifles for the Army and the Air Force for about ₹982 crore. However, these special high-precision sniper rifles will be bought under ‘Buy Global’ category by a tie-up with a foreign armament company. Tuesday’s pass will be implemented in accordance with the DAC approval made last month, which includes the FTP for 72,400 new-generation assault rifles and 93,895 close-quarter battle (CQB) carbines for Rs 3,547 crore from the global market.
The approval of long-pending proposals will give a major push to the all three defence services, including Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. The mega purchase nod comes in time amid rising hostility and assaults by Pakistan on the Line of Control along the Jammu and Kashmir. On the other end, the aggravating concentration of the Chinese military along 4000-kilometre-long Indo-Chinese border. While the procurement, manufacturing and induction of new armoury will still take few years, the approval is the highest decision made by the DAC and is a step closer to strengthening the military muscle.