Army concludes 70 schemes under EP-4 worth ₹11,000 crore

The procurements were used to fill up ‘critical capability voids’, say defence sources

Updated - October 09, 2023 02:12 am IST

Published - October 09, 2023 12:15 am IST - NEW DELHI

Indian Army

Indian Army

The Army has completed the fourth trance of Emergency Procurements (EP) undertaken between September 2022 to September 2023 with over 70 schemes concluded worth nearly ₹11,000 crore, according to defence sources who said they have been utilised to fill up “critical capability voids”. Similarly, the Indian Air Force has concluded 64 contracts under EP-4 worth around ₹8,137 crore.

“The primary objective of EP was to plug critical operational gaps, especially along the Northern Borders,” a defence source said. Elaborating on the contracts concluded, the source said about 6-7 schemes worth ₹1,300 crores went for weapon systems, ₹1,300 crore was used across 7-8 projects for protective equipment, and 9 to 10 schemes at about ₹1,500 crore related to Intelligence, Reconnaissance, and Surveillance. Another ₹2,000 crore was reserved for about 10 projects focusing on drones and counter drones. Communication and non-communication equipment comprised about a dozen plus projects, absorbing approximately ₹1,800 crore, and lastly, an amount of ₹3,100 crore was used for about 25 projects on survivability and training.the source stated.

The armed forces are currently executing the fourth tranche of Emergency Procurements (EP) sanctioned by the Defence Ministry and as per the stipulations, deliveries have to be completed within 12 months. In the earlier three tranches, the Army finalised 68 contracts worth approximately ₹7,000 crore.

Emergency financial powers were granted to the armed forces by the Defence Ministry for the first time after the 2016 Uri terror attack, followed by the 2019 Balakot air strikes and the 2020 standoff with China in Eastern Ladakh. Under this, the services could procure weapons systems up to ₹300 crore, on an “urgent basis without any further clearance to cut short the procurement cycle”.

In the earlier three tranches, over ₹1,800 crore was spent on modern weapons, equipment, and ammunition and an almost equivalent amount was used for Communication and non-communication equipment, the source stated. Further, around ₹900 crore was dedicated to 10 contracts for Surveillance equipment and close to ₹1,500 crore was allocated for 14 projects on drones and counter drones systems, the source said, adding that another ₹1000 crore went towards enhancing mobility in various terrain and engineering equipment.

The EP mechanism is not just about swift procurements, it is also about savings — primarily due to procurement from domestic industry, another source said. “The first three tranches of EP realized savings of around ₹550 Crore and the fourth phase itself led to saving of approximately ₹1,500 crore.”

Major upgrades facilitated through the EP mechanism encompassed remote control weapon systems, air defence missiles, anti-tank missiles, satellite downlink & recording systems, VSAT terminals, portable mobile terminals, secure army mobile systems, all-terrain vehicles, high mobility reconnaissance vehicles, radars, loiter ammunition, drones, counter-drone systems, high endurance UAVs, ballistic helmets, navigation systems and simulation systems, officials stated.

Stressing on the increasing capability of the domestic defence industry, officials said about 50% of contracts in the first three tranches were awarded to the domestic industry. Under EP-4, all 70 schemes were contracted with Indian vendors.

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