New Delhi: The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved a purchase of weapons worth Rs 13.7 billion to prioritise the Indian defence forces’ preparedness and domestic investment in the defence sector. The defence ministry said that the decision was taken in a meeting presided over by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. A timeline of two years to execute the contracts has also been set.
Against the background of the tensions reigning with China on the border and the LAC in Ladakh, the Indian defence forces have increased their focus on preparedness. The process for the purchase of advanced weaponry and other defence systems has been expedited for this purpose. The DAC meeting held under this very initiative approved the purchase of weapons worth Rs 13.7 billion. It has been clarified that these weapons will be of indigenous make.
The approval granted by the DAC includes weapons and other defence systems required for all the three defence forces, Army, Navy and the Air Force. Last year, under a similar proposal, approval was awarded to purchase 83 Tejas LCA and more than 100 Arjun MK-1 tanks. The defence ministry has prepared a list of 101 items to ensure indigenous production and purchase of these items if sanctions are imposed against the Indian defence forces. It is believed that the list approved on Monday has items from the said list.
At the beginning of the month, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had announced a provision of USD 130 billion, over the next five years, for the modernisation of the Indian defence forces, during Aero India held in Bengaluru. At the same time, he also had clarified that steps would be initiated to reduce the expenditure on defence-related imports by USD 2 billion.