Defence Acquisition Council Current Affairs
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Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has approved implementation of Strategic Partnership guidelines. It is considered as major step towards boosting private sector participation in domestic defence manufacturing. The policy had come into effect in May 2017 but progress was delayed due to lack of specific guidelines.
Strategic Partnership Guidelines
SP model aims to revitalise defence industrial ecosystem and progressively build indigenous capabilities in private sector to design, develop and manufacture complex weapon system for future needs of armed forces. It lay emphasis on incentivisation of transfer of niche technology and higher indigenous content.
The SP model has four segments — submarines, single engine fighter aircraft, helicopters and armoured carriers/main battle tanks which will be specifically opened up for the private sector. Under this model, one Indian private company will be selected in each segment which will tie-up with shortlisted global equipment manufacturers to manufacture platforms in India through technology transfer under Make in India. All procurements under the SP model would be executed by specially constituted Empowered Project Committees to “provide focussed attention and ensure timely execution.”
These guidelines lay emphasis on incentivisation of transfer of niche technology and higher indigenous content from global majors, who in collaboration with Indian partners are ready to make India regional and global defence manufacturing hub. It will give major fillip towards encouraging self-reliance and aligning defence sector with the ‘Make in India ‘ initiative.
India is in talks with United States to procure National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II (NASAMS-II), an advanced air defence system at $1 billion to defend National Capital Region (NCR) from aerial attacks. The proposal is in Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) stage now which was approved by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
NASAMS-II is an upgraded version of the NASAMS developed by Raytheon in partnership with KONGSBERG Defence and Aerospace of Norway. It has been operational since 2007. It features new 3D mobile surveillance radars and 12 missile launchers for quicker reaction.
NASAMS-II is highly adaptable mid-range solution for any operational air defence requirement. It provides tailorable, state-of-the-art defence system that can maximise the ability to quickly identify, engage and destroy current and evolving enemy aircraft, UAV or emerging cruise missile threats.
NASAMS-II is armed with 3D Sentinel radars, short and medium-range missiles, launchers, fire-distribution centers and command-and-control units to quickly detect, track and shoot down multiple airborne threats. It is part of the air defence network guarding US capital city Washington DC. It is also deployed in several NATO countries.
Significance for India
India’s purchase of NASAMS-II will help in preventing 9/11-type on NCT Delhi. It will also complement India’s other systems such as the medium and long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems under procurement. With this, India will join league of nations including US, Russia and Israel etc. who have their own missile defence systems to protect their national capital regions.
India is deploying multi-tiered air defence network to fully secure its airspace from incoming fighter aircraft, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). It is also in advanced stage of talks with Russia for procurement of very long range S-400 air defence systems. Apart from these imports, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is in the final stages of developing its two-tier Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system which is designed to track and destroy nuclear missiles both inside (endo) and outside (exo) earth’s atmosphere. Phase-I of indigenous BMD is expected to be deployed soon.