DAC clears proposals for procurement of small arms

A jawan is seen with a Bren light machine gun during an operation. File

A jawan is seen with a Bren light machine gun during an operation. File

The Defence Acquisition council (DAC) on Wednesday gave approval for various procurement proposals at an estimated cost of about ₹9,435 crore. This includes 41,000 Light Machine Guns (LMG) and over 3.5 lakh Close Quarter Battle (CQB) carbines for the three services.

DAC approval is the first step in the long drawn Defence Procurement Procedure and will take several years for the final deals to be concluded. In the past all these deals have been repeatedly cancelled.

“The vintage of personal weapons, assault rifles, carbines and LMGs being operated by the troops of the three services, especially by soldiers positioned on the borders and in areas affected by militancy has been a cause of concern for over a decade… With the approval of these two proposals, the Government has cleared procurement of the entire range of personal weapons for the three Services, the Ministry said in a statement.

These small arms would be procured under the Buy and Make (Indian) category and of the total quantities envisaged, 75% will be through Indian industry under “Buy and Make (Indian)” category and balance through Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). The cost of carbines and LMGs is ₹4,607 crore and ₹3,000 crore respectively.

The reservation for the OFB has been kept to optimally utilise their infrastructure and capacity, as well as provide a window for assimilation of critical technologies towards building indigenous capability in small arms manufacturing, the Ministry stated.

The DAC also approved the procurement of essential quantity of High Capacity Radio Relay (HCRR) for the Army and Air Force at a cost of over ₹1092 crore and the Coast Guard will get two Pollution Control Vessels (PCV) at an approximate cost of ₹673 crore.

The HCRRs would provide fail-safe and reliable communication along with increased bandwidth in the Tactical Battle Area. The PCVs in addition to carrying out pollution control would also be capable of undertaking patrolling, search and rescue and limited salvage and fire-fighting operations at sea.

Small arms proposals

In the last two months, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had accorded approval for procurement of a series of small arms. The largest deal is for the procurement of 7.4 lakh assault rifles from both OFB and Private Industry at an estimated cost of ₹12,280 crore.

Other approved small arms proposals include 5,917 sniper rifles for the Army and Indian Air Force for about ₹982 crore, 17,000 Light Machine Guns (LMG) for the three Services at an estimated cost of over ₹1,819 crore, and another proposal for 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 Carbines at a combined cost of ₹3,547 crore.

Of the various small arms, immediate operational requirement for the soldiers deployed on the borders will be procured through fast track route and for the balance production lines will be set up in India.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2022 6:12:49 pm |