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DAC Approves Acquisitions to Enhance Anti Submarine, Surveillance and Night Fighting Capabilities

Published Nov 29, 2019
Updated May 20, 2020

Defence acquisitions council (DAC)  headed by the Defence Minister Mr Rajnath Singh with the Service Chiefs, the Defence Secretary and the Defence Production Secretary as members is reported to have approved the Acceptance of Necessity  (AON) for procurements worth Rs 22,800 Crore  [Approximately 3.1 US D Billion]

This will considerably enhance the anti submarine surveillance and attack potential of the Indian Air Force as well as airborne early warning and control. The

In addition maritime surveillance, detection and rescue potential of the Indian Coast Guard and the night fighting capability of the Indian Army will also see accretion.

The actual time for induction of these capabilities however cannot be assessed for now given the long time taken from AON and procurement formalities running into years.

The approvals include the following major platforms and items.

Indian Air Force

Six more P-8Is for around $1.8 billion to take the total of such aircraft to 18 . this curtails the demand by the Indian Navy by four due to paucity of funds and reprioritization of the resource allocation for defence.

In addition revalidation of “acceptance of necessity (AoN)” for the procurement of two indigenously-developed Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) aircraft approved in March 2015 was also approved.

These will now be based on the Airbus A-330 wide-body jets.

The Indian Air Force already has three “Phalcon” AWACS based on the IL 76 platform and one “Netra” AEW&C aircraft on the Embraer.

AWACS play an important role in netcentric warfare plans of the Indian Air Force locating and detecting fast moving fighter aircraft even as they take off from their air bases and vectoring in interceptors to target the same.

Indian Army

Indigenous design, development and manufacture of “thermal imaging night sights” for assault rifles of the Army was also approved. These will be manufactured under “Make in India” by the Indian private industry as per the Times of India.

Indian Coast Guard will procure 14 twin-engine heavy-duty helicopters for the Coast Guard .