Thursday, March 23, 2023
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Rifles, missiles, ammunition, drones — armed forces on shopping spree amid LAC tensions

Unprecedented emergency powers given to armed forces under the capital budget, for purchases of new equipment and systems, are likely to ease bottlenecks.

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New Delhi: A special session of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) Wednesday empowered the armed forces to go ahead with Rs 300 crore worth of capital acquisitions to meet emergent operational requirements, even as the military has been on a shopping spree over the past few weeks. 

The move, which comes amid tensions between India and China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), gives the armed forces unprecedented emergency powers under the capital budget, which is for purchases of new equipment and systems. It is expected to ease some of the bottlenecks that mar defence acquisitions.

So far, the forces have, from time to time, been given a Rs 500-crore limit per project under the revenue head, which deals with reordering of existing systems and ammunition. This power, for example, was allowed after the 2016 Uri attack, and in June this year in light of the LAC situation. 

Procurements under the capital budget are a long-drawn process that requires multiple trials and long procedures even if fast-tracked.

Announcing the new provision, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said it will shrink procurement timelines, ensure speedy placement of orders, and start deliveries within one year.

Also Read: Indian Army could get carbines from UAE soon, deal in final stages of confirmation

Several procurements on the horizon

Amid the ongoing tensions with China, the Indian military has been on a shopping spree, with a number of projects being pushed under the emergency procurement provision. These include assault rifles, anti-tank guided missiles, ammunition, high-altitude clothing, bombs, drones, etc.

Sources said the armed forces are already in the midst of pursuing different manner of procurements from the US, Russia, Israel, France and some other countries.

Asked how much money is being spent in these fast-tracked emergency purchases, sources said it was easily over $1 billion (Rs 7,513 crore).

The procurements — some of which have been inked while others are in the final stages — included armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) ammunition fired by the T-72 and T-90 main battle tanks, additional Heron drones, loitering munition, Spice Bombs, and Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPADS).

The procurement of 72,000 additional SiG 716 battle rifles has also been pushed ahead keeping the situation at the LAC in mind, sources said.

Each of the three services has prepared a list of items that they are looking to procure under the emergency clause. Sources said Russia, France and Israel have already assured timely delivery of items.

France had even diverted missiles meant for its own force to India to enable faster deployment of the Rafale fighters jets, which will arrive in India later this month.

This report has been updated to correct a typo

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  1. It is obvious that Indian armed forces were not too well prepared for any major Chinese move, though capable of bullying a smaller Pakistan. Now that China has forced a border emergency on us, let us do everything we can to maintain that emergency situation and continue the flow of purchases both imported and local. This is the best chance to make good the shortages of previous years and make up for lost time. Some 3-4 years of such emergency procurement should be sufficient to build up our ammunition, rocket forces, artillery strength , light tank regiments and at least 36 if not more Rafale aircraft . We can then negotiate from a better position with the Chinese or even take one of two slices of territory across the LAC.

  2. This shows how illprepared India keeps itself.. Vajpayee was caught napping and Kargil happened. It was Bofors guns which saved us in that war. Now Modi is caught with his pants down. He was boasting among his Bhakts for taking over Gilgit Baltistan and PoK in a Jiffy. He even started giving Mausam ka haal of GB and PoK. China quitely moved in at five places and has captured all vantage points in Ladakh and Now DSDBO road is constantly being monitored by Chinese. To add to the insult, Modi and Doval started spreading lies that no one has entered our territory and sab Changa si. The problem in India is its illiterate PM whi does not know he is a fool. Modi is surrounded by Doval like people who have caused India immense harm. We have lost our neighbourhood friends be it IIran, Afghanistan, Nepal Bangladesh, Bhutan. These bloody bhakts have taken back India to 10 th century.

    • Are there any actual facts behind your hollow claims?I don’t think so. And even IF there is I dare you to show me.

      • fact No 1 : In the sub sector North,near DBO, the Chinese have blocked us at the “bottleneck ” or Y Junction and so we are unable to patrol in the Depsang plains as we earlier used to. This Y Junction is EIGHTEEN kms inside the LAC.
        So please calculate how much territory CHina has occupied just in Depsang alone.

  3. All IAF Fighter Jets are VINTAGE – 40 year old HAGs …..they can’t perform in bed….What IAF has to counter J-20 5th Generation Stealth Fighter Jets of China which forced ill Equipped Inadin Army and IAF to surrender to Chinese Mountain Strike Army LADAKH TERRITORY?

    • In hand to hand combat IA dispatched 100 PLA to hell. their won govt dont accept it.. only traitor communists keep on bakring after they aare getting kciked out from US to japan to taiwan to australia .every where..

    • Sir it’s media going hyper wrong information likes of Republic tv Arnab and times tv fake news peddlers goons

  4. The glorious PLA has acquired its claimed land in Ladakh after lynching at keast 34endian soldiers to death. The epicentre of all evils in the region including state sponsored terrorism is endia.
    Now BJP and Mody govt has got a golden opportunity to earn kickbacks in the garb of emergency defence procurements.

  5. Let us pray for peace in the world. Instead of spending money for arms ,let us provide alms for the poor of this word ,so that they may live to see a better world.

  6. Please issue them atleast a red dot scope for the AR (Automatic Rifles). When our enemies are using scopes to snipe us from miles away

  7. Why cheer and happiness for clerks and officers? Very funny ! Is it an invitation to something inappropriate ? Only the writer could decipher ? However, I see augmenting defence services wherewithal to fend the country from the inimical elements operating higher and thither.

  8. On the other hand China has gone one mass production with it’s latest military machines, when it comes to real war India’s economy will be the first to collapse

    • porkisthanis still had night mare about 1971 9000 surrrender… they dont even reliase their time is us. more than 50 pakisthani soldiers were kiled in last 10 days in balochisthan

  9. Hope they all get rigged out for an invasion, of the US of A and finally give Erik Prince the rain’s to purge the country, of the liberal slu… God Bless America and God bless Donald Trump

  10. Waste of money Still going to be beaten by China And Pakistan best to invest in Bollywood movies star Ashakay KUmar the Horse face man

    • You wish as does your country, a concubine of PRC. Yes better to invest in Bollywood greater ROI than investing in your country for no ROI. I’m sure you will be watching the movie

    • Pakistan? Didn’t India defeat the Abduls like 4 times already, I would be more concerned about the goat you are about to rape.

  11. China is forcing India to spend more on defence. It will squeeze India’s smaller economy. China has the upper hand. Covid has also crushed the economy which was in the doldrums due to demonetisation. In this situation, will minorities get any respite from the Hindu’s minority bashing programme ? Probably not – because they have nothing else to do.

  12. Is the use of phrases like “shopping spree” in the context, responsible journalism?

    Leave it to the editorial desk of this good and upcoming news source to ponder or ignore this comment

  13. Even today $1 billion is a tolerable sum of money.
    May it bring cheer and happiness to all from the humble clerk to the topmost officer.

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