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Indian Navy gets a big boost

By Ajai Shukla
July 31, 2018 09:40 IST
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In the pipeline are 123 naval multi-role helicopters, 111 naval utility helicopters and 6 submarines.
Ajai Shukla reports.

IMAGE: A Rs 8 billion project has also been cleared for 8 fast patrol vessels for the Coast Guard. Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters

The defence ministry on Monday, July 30, announced it had approved 'implementation guidelines for the strategic partnership model'.

The 'strategic partner' model of defence procurement, which was promulgated in outline in May 2017, provides a policy framework for Indian firms to manufacture specified defence platforms in India based on technology transferred by a selected foreign vendor.

The SP policy initially aims at building four categories of weaponry -- fighters, helicopters, submarines, and armoured vehicles.

But while the policy framework had been drawn up, and retrospectively included as a chapter in the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016, there was a need for separate selection criteria for each of the four equipment categories.


'In an endeavour to convert policy into implementable directions and to kick-start the process, the Defence Acquisition Council also approved platform-specific guidelines for procurement of naval utility helicopters,' said a defence ministry release on Monday.

That clears the decks for initiating the Rs 217.38 billion procurement of 111 helicopters for the navy.

'The amplifying guidelines lay emphasis on incentivisation of transfer of niche technology and higher indigenous content. Global majors who in collaboration with Indian partners are ready to make India a regional/global manufacturing hub for the platform will also be incentivised,' the defence ministry release added.

'All procurements under the SP model would be executed by specially constituted empowered project committees to provide focused attention and ensure timely execution,' the ministry stated.

In the SP pipeline are 110 medium fighters for the air force, 123 naval multi-role helicopters, 111 naval utility helicopters, and six conventional submarines under Project 75-I.

The Defence Acquisition Council also accorded approval on Monday for buying 8 fast patrol vessels for the Coast Guard under the 'Buy lndian -- lndian Designed Developed and Manufactured' category for approximately Rs 800 crore (Rs 8 billion).

'These vessels,' the defence ministry pointed out, 'will be indigenously designed and manufactured and would strengthen maritime security by undertaking day/night patrolling and policing of (India's maritime zones).'

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Ajai Shukla
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