$6.5 Billion Approved by India for Military Purposes

NEW DELHI, India (BulgarianMilitary.com), 27 August 2018, Editor: Bm Team, Photo credit: en.wikipedia.org/Kamov Ka-226 Russian Air Force

$6.5 billion has been approved by India for military purposes, part of which is for upgrading of the ageing defence equipment by purchasing 111 naval helicopters, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

This comes as a result of the efforts of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to fulfil its promise for military modernization at the amount of $250 billion delayed by strict bidding conditions and some unsuccessful tender procedures.

During the weekend, the defence acquisition committee of India approved $3 billion for the purposes of purchasing 111 utility naval helicopters. They will be supplied under a new programme, which allows foreign defence contractors to work together with Indian companies from the private sector for making defence equipment.

The production of military equipment in India was previously limited only to companies from the public sector with foreign partners. However, in accordance to Mr Modi’s promise, Indian companies from the private sector now will be also able to take part in the manufacturing of military equipment

The defence analyst Ajai Shukla commented, “This is the first tender being initiated under the strategic partner mode, where an Indian private sector vendor builds the platform in India with technology transfer from a foreign owner. This unlocks the door for the entry of the private sector in defence production.”

It is expected Russia’s Kamov to offer its Ka-226 model for the naval helicopter tender. It is manufactured with the Indian state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics. Airbus and the European aerospace group will participate in the competition for the contract as well.

The Mahindra Group, Tata, Anil Ambani’s Reliance, Kalyani and Larsen & Toubro are large Indian companies which have received licences for defence production and hence may partner foreign defence technology companies for making the helicopters.

However, Mr Shukla added, “The whole procurement lies ahead. The decision sanctioned yesterday will take at least five years for final decision-making — let alone production. Nobody wants to make a decision on procurement because they are all generalist bureaucrats, terribly afraid of signing on the dotted line.”

Besides the $3 billion for the helicopters, the government has also approved the acquisition of other equipment at the amount of $3.5 billion, including 150 locally designed and developed advanced artillery guns — seen as a precursor to an order of up to 1,500 artillery guns for replacement of the outdated howitzers of the army.

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