In the step towards military modernization, the Ministry of Defence on 22 March 2022 gave the first approval for projects worth Rs. 8,400 crore (approximately) in the Army. The approval included big projects like GSAT-7B satellite, LVs, and night vision devices.
Defense Acquisitions Council, set up for defence purchases under the leadership of Rajnath Singh, accorded AoN (acceptance of necessity) to all projects whose focus was indigenous design and development of weapons. The DAC was also open to accepting proposals involving the manufacturing of weapon systems and platforms.
Other weapon necessities approved by DAC were: 30,000 procurement order of image intensifiers (night sight) for assault rifles at the price of around Rs. 1,400 crore. There was another purchase of light vehicles, model GS 4X4, with a purchase value of Rs. 760 crore for 5,000 LVs. Some fire control radars with air defense features were also under the purchase slot and have been given the DAC nod.
However, the highest cost weapon among the purchase items was the GSAT-7B satellite which cost around Rs. 4,600 crore for the Army. The purchase was given its approval with the objective that acquiring this weapon system will provide the armed forces with enhanced operational preparedness. The weapons will better the visibility and mobility of the armed forces, aided with enhanced capability to detect enemy aircraft.
DAC has given separate AoN for the purchase of 14 items under the cost of Rs. 389 crores from iDEX start-ups and MSMEs. The DAC also gave its approval in November 2021 to launch GSAT-7C under the cost of Rs. 2,236 crore for Indian Air Force.
The motive of DAC behind the approval is to encourage and accelerate the indigenization of defense equipment. Along with the desire for indigenous weapons, the council is also working to achieve self-reliance and ease of doing business in the defense.