The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) of the Ministry of Defence earlier this week gave the go-ahead for four major acquisitions worth nearly Rs. 16,000 crore for the Indian Navy and the Army. The approved shopping list includes two deep-sea rescue vessels, an indigenous anti-submarine craft programme, more Israeli Barak missiles and 41 advanced light helicopters.

In order to improve the country’s response to any disaster at sea, the DAC approved the procurement of two deep-sea rescue vessels by the Indian Navy. The approval comes in the wake of the August 14 mishap involving the INS Sindhurakshak submarine, in which 18 personnel were killed.

The incident appears to have acted as a catalyst in providing a speedy approval for the purchase of two Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicles (DSRVs). The DAC has also approved a Rs. 13,000 crore project that will enhance the anti-submarine warfare capability of the Indian Navy. The committee has cleared the indigenous development of a 700-tonne Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft that would take on submarines operating in coastal waters, within 200 nautical miles of the base port. These vessels would watch over foreign submarines operating close to the Indian coastline.

After remaining in deep freeze for five years due to an ongoing probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Israeli Barak missiles have found favour with the Defence Ministry. The DAC cleared a proposal to procure 262 Barak I missiles for Rs. 880 crore.

This has paved the way for the deployment of the nine-km range air defence missiles on India’s two aircraft carrier — INS Virat and INS Vikramaditya . The Navy has been using these missiles but due to the suspension in the procurement process, had been left with just 150.

The DAC has also given the nod to the Army to proceed with the acquisition of 41 Dhruv advanced Light Helicopters.

  • The DSRVs would help improve the Navy’s response in time of any disaster

  • 700 ton Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft to be developed