MoD promotes “Make in India” vision of PM: Axes Copter deal
Minister of Defence Mr.arun Jaitley, made a significant stride to take the PM’s vision of “Make in India” forward by scrapping the global tender for Rs.6000 crores Light Utility Helicopters. The scheme which had been in the pipeline for a considerable length of time now, was actually mired in corruption charges and other technical controversies. The decision of Defence ministry will boost the indigenous defence manufacturing and the typical “buy and make Indian” categorization of light utility helicopters will have the potential of generating Rs. 40,000 crores business for Indian industry.
The new phase as started by the Mr. Jaitey and DAC-defence acquisition council has given the green signal for the production of all the 384 helicopters on Indian soils by Indian firms in various kinds of collaborations with the foreign firms. These newly produced copters will be replacing the aging Cheetah and Chetak fleets of Army and IAF.
Looking at another aspect, the big push for Indian defence manufacturers also brings with it a major jolt to the expectations of our forces which are deployed in difficult terrain. The new policy has further delayed the already sluggish progress of modernizing the much needed fleets. The 197-helicopters which involved Russian Kamov-226T and Eurocopter AS 550 C3, has now seen the third major blow over a span of 10 years.
DAC has gone ahead to give a go-ahead to defence purchases of Rs. 20,000 crores which spans the upgrade of its aging submarines, Arjun Mk II tanks,16 multi-role helicopters for Navy, Traffic Collision Avoidance System for Naval defence, 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters.
The revamp of the defence forces is a dire need of the troubled times where the world is witnessing rise of extremism out of proportions and uncertain political conditions in the immediate neighborhood.