Indigenous designing and manufacturing of defence system


Following the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan of the government, Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP)-2020 encourages indigenous design and manufacturing of defence items. The ‘Make’ Procedure of DAP-2020 considers the proposals for indigenous design and manufacturing. The main objective is to bring self-reliance by roping in domestic industries including private sector through following mechanisms:

  1. Make-I (Government Funded): This involves financial support up to 70%of prototype development cost or maximum Rs 250 crores per Development Agency (DA).
  2. Make-II (Industry Funded): Design and development by an Indian vendor is involved in this but without government funding although it has an assurance of procurement on successful prototype development.

As of now, 4 projects are in Make-I category. ‘Approval in Principal’ has been accorded to 56 proposals out of which 23 proposals have been accorded ‘Acceptance of Necessity (AoN)’. Moreover, Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has undertaken 233 projects during past three years since 2018. These include Anti-Ship missile, Cruise missile, Hypersonic missile, Mounted Gun system, Extended Range Anti-Submarine Rocket, Ammunitions, Radars, Electronic Warfare system, Torpedoes, High Endurance Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, etc. In last three years AoN has been accorded to 45 DRDO developed systems for induction into services. For procurement of capital equipment, topmost priority is given to ‘Buy {Indian- IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)}’. An imports embargo on 101 items identified as ‘Negative list’ would encourage domestic industries to manufacture these items and meet the necessities of the armed forces in order to promote self-reliance. SRIJAN, an indigenization portal has been launched in August 2020 for Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs)/ Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)/ Services to provide development support to MSMEs/ Startups/ Industry for import substitution. The items displayed in this portal have well-structured description including specification, images, business volume, etc.




New Defence Production Policy


Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence placed a Draft ‘Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP)’ 2020 in public domain. This policy is a guiding document of the Ministry of Defence that provides a focused, structured and significant thrust to defence production capabilities of the country. It aims to carve out a special space for India among the top countries in defence sector including Aerospace and Naval Shipbuilding Sectors from design to production involving both private and public sector. It envisages to create an ecosystem to encourage R&D, reward innovation, create Indian Intellectual Property (IIP) ownership and promote self-reliance in this sector. The Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP)-2020 aims to promote ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in defence sector with focus on Simplification, Delegation, Reduced Timelines and make procedure industry friendly.


Army to get 1300 Light Specialist Vehicles


The Army is about to procure 1300 Light Specialist Vehicles (LSV) to enhance tactical firepower of its field units. It is expected that the vehicles will be inducted over a period of four years for which Rs 1056 crore contract was signed between Ministry of Defence and Mahindra Defence Systems Limited (MDSL). The LSV is a modern fighting vehicle and can be assigned to various units to carry Medium Machine Guns, Automatic Grenade Launchers and Anti-tank Guided Missiles. As per operational requirements it can retrofit various equipment and accessories. The combat vehicle is extremely agile with all round protection against small arms fire and can as a force multiplier for small detachments in the operational areas. The vehicle is almost of the size of an SUV, it can be deployed in counter-terrorist environment and also in conventional military operations. The vehicle can do patrolling in high intensity areas, be used by quick reaction teams, special forces operations, desert raids, reconnaissance and border security.




HAL to deliver Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) by 2022


State owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is planning to deliver the first model of indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) by August 2022. The LUH’s performance during trials is meeting the expectations of the Services, after it performed High Altitude Operations at the forward helipads, even at the Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) airstrip along the China border. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will place the order to HAL to develop and manufacture 12 such helicopters. The HAL has received the Letter of Acceptance from the Ministry of Defence, to deliver 6 helicopters for the Indian Army and 6 for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The LUH will be manufactured the HAL’s facility center at Tumkur, Karnataka.

The LUH has proved its worth in all kinds of environments, especially during the High Altitude Operations, which are crucial for maintaining troop movement on the China and Pakistan border. During trials, it conducted missions to China and Pakistan borders from Leh. It covered a distance of over 3000 kms, while demonstrating a flight from Bangalore to Leh. This distance was covered in 3 days, and the helicopter didn’t face any servicing issues.

It is powered by a Safran HE Ardiden-1U engine, and has a range of 350 km. The helicopter provides a service ceiling of 6.5 km and can accommodate 8 passengers including 2 pilots. The LUH will be deployed in the hilly areas and will perform transport, cargo load, search and rescue and reconnaissance operations. This helicopter will replace the ageing fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters, which can easily perform along the unexpected heights, even in the tough regions like the Siachen Glacier. LUH has the capacity to carry more than 8 times the payload of the Cheetah helicopters.

The helicopter will be fully ‘Made in India’ and will be a feather on the cap on the Central Government’s initiative of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. The HAL will borrow the expertise from the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), which was also designed and developed at HAL. As per the requirements put forth by the Army and the IAF, around 185 such helicopters may be developed in the near future.  Along with LUH, India is looking to negotiate a deal with Russia to procure Kamov Ka-226 helicopters, which will be utilized by the Army and the IAF.