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About The Defence Acquisition Council

Context:

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), under the chairmanship of Defence minister cleared capital acquisition proposals worth Rs 84,560 crore. This has been done to boost the capabilities of the Armed Forces and the Indian Coast Guard.

Relevance:

GS III: Defence

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Defence Acquisition Council’s Project Approvals for Armed Forces Enhancement
  2. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)

Defence Acquisition Council’s Project Approvals for Armed Forces Enhancement

Key Decisions by DAC:

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for projects totaling ₹84,560 crore, marking the initial step in the procurement process.
  • AoN, though, doesn’t guarantee the final placement of orders.

Approved Proposals:

  • 15 maritime reconnaissance and multi-mission maritime aircraft for the Navy and Coast Guard.
  • Six flight refueller aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • New generation anti-tank mines for the Army.
  • Heavy weight torpedoes (HWT) for the Navy’s Scorpene-class submarines.

Amendments to DAP 2020:

  • DAC endorsed changes to the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020, addressing benchmarking, cost computation, payment schedules, and procurement quantities.
  • These amendments aim to facilitate the procurement of advanced technologies from start-ups and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • Special emphasis is laid on sourcing various equipment from Indian vendors.

Significance of Approvals:

  • The approved aircraft will significantly enhance maritime surveillance capabilities, complementing the existing P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft.
  • The introduction of refuellers will address a critical capability gap in the IAF’s inventory, serving as a vital strategic asset and a force multiplier.
  • The procurement of software-defined radios for the Coast Guard aligns with the need for high-speed communication, ensuring secure networking and seamless information exchange between the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Navy.

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC):

Overview:

  • DAC serves as the apex decision-making body within the Ministry of Defence.
  • Its jurisdiction includes formulating policies and authorizing capital acquisitions for the Indian military—Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
  • Headed by the Defence Minister.

Responsibilities:

  • Primarily tasked with procuring weapons, equipment, armored vehicles, advanced communication systems, and surveillance gear.
  • Approves projects through three categories: Buy (outright purchase), Buy and Make (purchase followed by licensed production or indigenous development), and Make (indigenous production and R&D).
Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020:
  • DAP 2020 aligns with the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, focusing on enhancing self-reliance in defence manufacturing.
  • Aims to simplify acquisition processes, institutionalize monitoring mechanisms, and ensure transparent and competitive equipment selection.

Salient Features:

  • Positive indigenisation lists notification to discourage imports for specific weapons/platforms.
  • Prioritization of procurement under Buy (Indian-Indigenous Design, Development & Manufacture [IDDM]) category.
  • Reservation for MSMEs and small shipyards for orders up to Rs 100 crore/year.
  • Augmented Indigenous Content (IC) in various procurement categories.
  • Introduction of Buy (Global-Manufacture in India) category to promote ‘Make in India’.
  • Indigenisation of imported spares through Make-III Process for import substitution.
About ‘Make’ Category:
  • The ‘Make’ category focuses on indigenous capability building, involving both public and private sectors.
  • ‘Make-I’ involves government-funded projects.
  • ‘Make-II’ encompasses industry-funded projects.
  • ‘Make-III’ includes military hardware that may not be designed domestically but can be manufactured in the country for import substitution.
  • Collaboration with foreign partners is allowed for Indian firms to manufacture these items.

-Source: Indian Express


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