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INDUS-X Defence Initiative Marks First Anniversary

Since its inception, INDUS-X has fostered robust private sector cooperation between the United States and India, paving the way for transformative partnerships among defence technology firms, investors, and researchers.

As the US-India INDUS-X initiative commemorates its first year, it stands as a beacon of transnational collaboration in defence innovation. Launched during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official visit to Washington, DC, INDUS-X has swiftly advanced bilateral commitments through the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET).

“In its first year, INDUS-X has advanced both countries’ commitment to build a defence innovation bridge under the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET),” read a release from US Department of Defence.

Since its inception, INDUS-X has fostered robust private sector cooperation between the United States and India, paving the way for transformative partnerships among defence technology firms, investors, and researchers. This initiative has not only bolstered technological exchange but has also laid the groundwork for strategic alliances crucial to both nations’ defence capabilities.

“INDUS-X has strengthened private sector cooperation between the United States and India by facilitating partnerships among defence technology companies, investors, and researchers,” the release added.

Highlighting its growing significance, the White House recently announced the upcoming third INDUS-X Summit, slated to convene in Silicon Valley in September 2024.

Co-hosted by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) and Stanford University, the summit will focus on leveraging private capital to propel defence innovation forward.

The India-United States Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS X) was launched at an event in Washington, DC, USA, on June 21, 2023. The INDUS X event was co-organised by Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), the Ministry of Defence, and the US Department of Defence (DoD) and hosted by the US-India Business Council (USIBC).

Joint Secretary (Defence Industries Promotion), MoD, Anurag Bajpai, led the Indian delegation in the two-day INDUS-X event. A reception for Indian and US government representatives, defence start-ups, think tanks, incubators, investors, industries and other stakeholders was organised on June 20, 2023.

The event also saw a first-of-its-kind joint showcasing of innovative technologies by Indian and US start-ups. 15 Indian start-ups and 10 US start-ups, from multiple domains of maritime, AI, autonomous systems, and space, showcased their technologies to Indian and US stakeholders, the Ministry of Defence, said in a release earlier. (ANI)

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Dy Defence Chief issues grim warning 

Shapps added that any such conflict would be fought alongside Nato allies who could collectively outgun Russia, rather than by the UK alone…reports Asian Lite News

Britain could not fight Russia for more than two months, the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff has admitted.

Lt Gen Sir Rob Magowan said the Armed Forces would have to manage the “operational risk” that came with not having the resources he would like in future wars.

It comes after Grant Shapps, the Defence Secretary, told MPs that he had lobbied Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt for more money to be spent on defence in the recent Budget, but failed to secure an increase.

Appearing before MPs at the Commons defence committee, the senior Royal Marines officer said: “We’ve been very clear that the amount of money we’re spending on munitions at the moment … which is significant … does not meet, in all areas, the threats that we face.

“We’ve been clear that we need to spend more money, above the programme of record, on what we call integrated air missile defence.”

When put to him by Mark Francois, the former Armed Forces minister, that the UK “couldn’t fight [Vladimir] Putin for more than a couple of months in a full-on shooting war because we don’t have the ammunition and the reserves of equipment to do it, that’s true, isn’t it?”, Sir Rob acknowledged that was true.

Shapps added that any such conflict would be fought alongside Nato allies who could collectively outgun Russia, rather than by the UK alone.

Shapps said: “For people watching, and hearing that the UK isn’t ready for war exclusively with Russia, it’s important to understand that because we are in Nato and [mutual defence agreement] Article 5 exists, we would never be in that situation.”

It comes after a damning inquiry by the Commons defence committee found Britain’s “increasingly overstretched” Armed Forces were not ready for a war with Russia.

It found the Government “will never achieve warfighting or strategic readiness” without urgent reforms to reverse a recruitment crisis and would also need to dramatically boost Britain’s stockpile of weapons and ammunition.

In a stark report, the MPs said that the Armed Forces required more funding to “engage in operations whilst also developing warfighting readiness” or it would have to reduce the “operational burden” on the military.

The committee was told by former defence chiefs that the Armed Forces had been “hollowed out” since 2010 and, “in a peer-on-peer conflict… would have exhausted their capabilities after the first couple of months of the engagement”.

Sir Rob insisted the UK was “ready for war” although he acknowledged it was not prepared for an enduring conflict against Russia.

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NATO says record number of allies hit defence target

Biden, Harris and Blinken had took strong exception to Trump’s remark. Republican Nikki Haley had also took exception to the Trump’s statement…reports Asian Lite News

Outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that 18 of NATO’s 31 member alliance are expected to spend at least 2 per cent of their GDP on defence this year.

“That is another record number and a six-fold increase from 2014 when only three allies met their target,” Stoltenberg said on Wednesday ahead of a meeting between the alliance’s defense ministers in Brussels to be followed by a Security Alliance meeting in Munich in Germany.

US Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are attending both of the NATOS meeting to assuage the feelings of members seriously concerned over US role since 2024 frontrunner in GOP primaries former US President Donald Trump brought up renewed scrutiny to the issue of defense spending among NATO members last weekend.

Trump reportedly said at a campaign rally in the home state of Nikki Halley, his opponent, in South Carolina, that he would encourage Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to any NATO member country that doesn’t meet spending guidelines on defence.

Biden, Harris and Blinken had took strong exception to Trump’s remark. Republican Nikki Haley had also took exception to the Trump’s statement.

NATO Secretary General’s statements on member countries spending on defence assumed significance in that context as Trump’s statement effectively undercut the collective defence clause at the heart of the treaty.

Stoltenberg said on Monday that such comments put European and American soldiers at an increased risk.

“Any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the US, and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk,” Stoltenberg said, according to CNN.

The NATO chief acknowledged on Wednesday that criticism of members not spending enough was “a valid point … and a message that has been conveyed by successive US administrations, that European Allies and Canada have to spend more, because we haven’t seen fair burden sharing in the alliance.”

To achieve an equitable share to take the burden, ten years ago NATO members pledged to increase their defence spending to 2 per cent of GDP for each country. Among the countries to hit the target recently is Germany.

The German Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that its 2024 budget will see its defense spending meet the 2 per cent threshold for the first time since the early 1990s.

As a whole, NATO’s European allies are expected to spend 2 per cent of their combined GDP on defense for the first time this year.

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Defence ministry signs Rs 2,269-cr deal with BEL

The Shakti EW system is indigenously designed, developed and manufactured…reports Asian Lite News

The defence ministry signed a Rs 2,269-crore deal with state-run Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) on Tuesday for the procurement of 11 Shakti warfare systems, along with associated equipment.

The electronic warfare system will be installed on-board the frontline warships of the Indian Navy, officials said. The Shakti systems are capable of accurately intercepting electronic emissions and implementing counter measures in a dense electromagnetic environment, they said.

“The Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Hyderabad on February 13 for procurement of 11 Shakti Electronic Warfare Systems along with associated equipment/accessories for Indian Navy under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category at a total cost of Rs 2,269.54,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Shakti EW system is indigenously designed, developed and manufactured.

“The project will generate employment of two-and-a-half lakh man-days over a period of four years with participation of more than 155 industry partners including MSMEs, thus furthering the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’,” the ministry said.

Navy to get 11 Shakti Electronic Warfare Systems

The Ministry of Defence on Tuesday said that the Navy will get 11 ‘Shakti Electronic Warfare (EW) System. The ministry said that it has inked a MoU with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Hyderabad for the project.

“This contract is for procurement of 11 Shakti Electronic Warfare Systems along with associated equipment and accessories for the Indian Navy under Buy (Indian- IDDM) category at a total cost of Rs 2269.54 crore,” the ministry said.

The ministry said that the Shakti EW System is indigenously designed, developed and manufactured. “The Shakti EW System is capable of accurately intercepting electronic emissions and implementing counter measures in dense electromagnetic environments,” the ministry said.

The ministry said that the project will generate employment of two and half lakh man-days over a period of four years with participation of more than 155 industry partners including MSMEs, thus furthering the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

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UK to upgrade defence missile system in Red Sea

Tension has soared in the Red Sea area since Yemen’s Houthis launched a campaign of attacks on international shipping in November…reports Asian Lite News

Britain’s Ministry of Defence on Sunday announced the government would spend £405 million ($514 million) on improving a missile system currently being used by the Royal Navy to shoot down drones fired by Houthi rebels at ships in the Red Sea.

Tension has soared in the Red Sea area since Yemen’s Houthis launched a campaign of attacks on international shipping in November.

The Sea Viper Air Defence system will be upgraded with missiles featuring a new warhead and software enabling it to counter ballistic missile threats, the ministry said.

“As the situation in the Middle East worsens, it is vital that we adapt to keep the UK, our allies and partners safe,” British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said.

“Sea Viper has been at the forefront of this, being the Navy’s weapon of choice in the first shooting-down of an aerial threat in more than 30 years.”

The contract for the missiles upgrade was won by the British division of MBDA, a joint venture between Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo.

Last week Shapps visited HMS Diamond in the Red Sea, which has used the Sea Viper missile system to intercept drones used by Houthi rebels. HMS Diamond, three US destroyers and a French warship comprise the current US-led international task force Operation Prosperity Guardian.

“A cutting-edge weapon system, Sea Viper continues to provide the Royal Navy with impressive lethality,” said Rear Admiral Anthony Rimington. “Sea Viper Evolution further enhances this capability against the more complex and evolving threats and strengthens our co-operation and interoperability with key partners.”

HMS Diamond, part of Operation Prosperity Guardian in the Red Sea, has the capability to use the

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is concerned about the escalation of hostilities between the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen and the US and its allies in the Red Sea, the kingdom’s Foreign Minister said on Sunday.

Of course we are very worried,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS in an interview that was due to air on Sunday. “We are in a very difficult and dangerous time in the region, and that’s why we are calling for de-escalation,” he said.

The Houthis claim the attacks are aimed at pressuring Israel to stop its war in Gaza, in which more than 25,000 people have been killed since October 7. The group, which rules much of central and northern Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, is backed by Iran and opposes Israel.

After months of attacks, including on US warships, the US and the UK launched air strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen. The US has followed up with several rounds of strikes since but the Houthis have continued attacking ships and repeatedly pledged they will not stop.

On Saturday, the US military said it struck a Houthi anti-ship missile that was being prepared for launch into the Gulf of Aden.

“US forces determined the missile presented a threat to merchant vessels and US Navy ships in the region, and subsequently struck and destroyed the missile in self-defence,” the US Central Command said in a statement on X. The move follows three similar strikes late on Friday.

US President Biden has said air strikes would continue even though he admitted they may not be halting Houthi attacks.

The container vessel Kota Rahmat approaches Bab Al Mandeb off Obock, Djibouti. Cargo ships crossing the Red Sea are declaring they have no links to Israel to avoid being targeted by Yemen’s Houthis. Getty Images

The container vessel Kota Rahmat approaches Bab Al Mandeb off Obock, Djibouti. Cargo ships crossing the Red Sea are declaring they have no links to Israel to avoid being targeted by Yemen’s Houthis. Getty Images

Global trade and inflation risks

Most of the world’s large shipping companies are avoiding the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, choosing to reroute their vessels travelling from Asia to Europe and vice versa round the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa.

“We will only return [to the Red Sea] when we deem the passage safe ad secure, this is still not the case yet,” Nils Haupt, a director at Hapag-Lloyd, told The National.

Shipping rates have soared as a result of the rerouting. For example, the cost of shipping a 40ft container from Port Klang in Malaysia to Rotterdam in the Netherlands has increase by more than 200 per cent to $5,100, according to research by the website FMT.

Economists say there is a good chance the added costs will feed through to inflation, particular in European countries, as companies pass the added costs on to the prices charged to customers.

“As well as potential product and materials shortages, many companies will be forced to turn to air freight, further increasing costs and their carbon impact and eating into profit margins,” said Phil Bulman, partner at global management consultancy Arthur D. Little.

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Rajnath’s UK visit gives big push to defence ties

The discussions between the two nations went beyond military manoeuvres, encompassing a comprehensive spectrum of collaborative initiatives…reports Asian Lite News

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s UK visit was not merely symbolic. The outcomes included: one of the key announcements was the UK’s plan to deploy its Littoral Response Group to the Indian Ocean Region later this year.

Looking ahead, the Carrier Strike Group is slated to visit in 2025, highlighting a strategic commitment to operational training and collaboration with Indian forces.

This move signifies the growing importance of the strategic relationship between the UK and India, reflecting a shared understanding of the contemporary security challenges that necessitate collaborative efforts. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps underscored the significance of such collaborations, stating, “It is vital that we continue to build on our strategic relationships with key partners like India.” This acknowledgement of shared security challenges emphasizes the necessity of collective action in maintaining a free and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

The discussions between the two nations went beyond military manoeuvres, encompassing a comprehensive spectrum of collaborative initiatives. Joint exercises, knowledge-sharing platforms, and instructor exchanges were on the agenda, building on the foundation laid by the 2030 India-UK roadmap announced in 2021. The roadmap serves as a blueprint for the future, outlining a strategic vision that goes beyond the immediate horizon, with an eye on shared goals and challenges.

Looking ahead, the UK and India are set to engage in more complex military exercises, culminating in a landmark joint exercise before the end of 2030. This forward-looking approach aims to protect critical trade routes and uphold the international rules-based system, aligning with both nations’ commitment to global stability.

Integral to the strategic defence partnership between the UK and India is collaboration with the industry. The two nations are actively working together on electric propulsion systems, technology that will power future fleets.

Additionally, joint efforts are underway in the development of complex weapons, showcasing the depth and breadth of their collaborative endeavours in the defence sector.

The visit witnessed the announcement of several new joint initiatives, adding concrete dimensions to the growing partnership. The launch of Defence Partnership-India, a dedicated office designed to enhance defence collaboration, stands out as a testament to the commitment of both nations.

The commitment to instructor exchanges, a Youth Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and a Letter of Arrangement emphasizing research and development underscore the multifaceted nature of the collaboration.

The Youth Exchange MOU is expected to solidify the already strong relationship between the cadet organizations of the two nations. Such initiatives, fostering people-to-people connections, contribute to the long-term sustainability of diplomatic ties. The Letter of Arrangement focusing on research and development signifies a commitment to exploring next-generation capabilities, ensuring that both nations remain at the forefront of defence technology.

Incidentally, his UK visit is the first by an Indian Defence Minister in over two decades.

The bilateral meeting was followed by the execution of two pivotal agreements – a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the administration of a bilateral international cadet exchange programme, and a Letter of Arrangement between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) focusing on collaborative defence research and development.

These aim to facilitate youth exchanges and amplify defence research collaboration, thereby deepening the bond between both countries.

Intensifying Defence Industrial Collaboration

The discussions, characterized by its cordiality and productivity, centred around the augmentation of defence industrial cooperation. Both ministers emphasized the intrinsic partnership between India and the UK, underpinned by shared aspirations and common values. Defence Secretary Shapps illuminated the unique, non-transactional nature of this alliance, while Defence Minister Singh acknowledged the burgeoning strategic alignment, particularly in the Indo-Pacific sphere.

Expanding the Ambit of Defence and Security

Defence Minister Singh’s visit, replete with engagements encompassing dialogues with defence industry luminaries and the Indian community, not only reflects the shared military capabilities but also lays the groundwork for a rejuvenated and dynamic Indo-UK partnership. This visit is poised to invigorate trade, investment, technological collaboration, and strengthen defence and security cooperation for a more secure Indian Ocean Region and Indo-Pacific.

It may be recalled that during the inaugural India-UK 2+2 Foreign and Defence Dialogue in New Delhi on October 16, 2023, senior officials from the two countries discussed greater collaboration in several key areas, including defence as well as critical and emerging technologies.

On November 24, 2023, India’s Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane co-chaired a meeting of the annual India-UK Defence Consultative Group among with British Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence David Williams.

In addition to reviewing the ongoing defence cooperation activities, the two sides discussed defence industrial cooperation in areas like missile systems and electric propulsion at this meeting.

Defence Minister Singh’s engagements in London included paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Tavistock Square, commemorating Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and celebrating the contributions of the Overseas Indian community. Additionally, he was accorded a ceremonial Guard of Honour at the Horse Guards Parade Ground, signifying the historical ties binding India and the UK.

He also visited the Ambedkar Museum and the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple, to further the cultural and historical ties that enrich the India-UK relationship.

London, Jan 11 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh meets UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

Defence Minister Singh’s visit to the UK is set to mark the beginning of a new era in defence and strategic collaboration. It exemplifies the mutual commitment to a partnership that yields mutual benefits, ensuring regional peace and prosperity.

According to the Indian Ministry of Defence, Singh welcomed the investment and technology collaboration from the UK and stated that India is ready with skilled human resource base, a robust pro-FDI and pro-business ecosystem, and a huge domestic market.

Singh is said to have asserted that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is surging ahead on the path of becoming a developed economy by 2047. Shapps is said to have highlighted that India-UK ties transcend the normal buyer-seller relationship as a fundamentally a strategic partnership.

“The industry leaders from the UK outlined their current and future plans for India. Aero-engines, Electric Propulsion, missiles, power-packs, and maritime systems were identified as some of the focus areas of joint work.

The minister noted the positivity and enthusiasm of UK CEOs and business leaders on working in India and with the Indian companies, the Indian ministry’s statement added. On Tuesday, the first formal day of engagements on his three-day visit, Singh held a bilateral meeting with Shapps with an emphasis on enhancing defence industrial cooperation between the two countries.

The meeting was followed by the signing of two agreements between India and UK an MoU on conduct of bilateral international cadet exchange programme, and a Letter of Arrangement between Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) on defence collaboration in research and development. He is scheduled to interact with the members of the diaspora at a community reception at the conclusion of his visit on Wednesday evening.

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Rajnath to visit UK to discuss defence, security issues

The two leaders explored ways and means to develop closer defence relations. Grant Shapps also invited Rajnath Singh to visit the UK in the near future…reports Asian Lite News

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will embark on a two-day visit to the United Kingdom on January 8, 2024 and will discuss bilateral issues with his counterpart Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in an official press release on Sunday.

The defence minister would be accompanied by a high-level Ministry of Defence delegation, comprising senior officials from DRDO, Service Headquarters, the Department of Defence, and the Department of Defence Production.

As per the Ministry, both leaders are expected to discuss a wide range of defence, security and industrial cooperation issues.

Rajnath Singh is also expected to call on UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and hold a meeting with Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs David Cameron. He will also interact with the CEOs and industry leaders of the UK defence industry and meet with the Indian community there.

Earlier in November, Rajnath Singh held a telephonic conversation with his British counterpart Grant Shapps and discussed means to bolster closer defence relations as well as the security issues in the Indo-Pacific region.

According to the Defence Ministry, both ministers discussed a range of defence and security issues, with particular emphasis on the Indo-Pacific. They briefly reviewed the ongoing engagements and discussed possible cooperation in new domains.

The two leaders explored ways and means to develop closer defence relations. Grant Shapps also invited Rajnath Singh to visit the UK in the near future.

Singh also congratulated Shapps on his appointment as Secretary of State for Defence.

“Had a telephonic conversation with the UK Secretary of State for Defence Mr Grant Shapps. We discussed a range of defence and security related issues with particular emphasis on the Indo-Pacific,” Rajnath Singh posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Shapps was appointed as the new Defence Secretary of United Kingdom in August, after Ben Wallace resigned from his position.

Notably, India and the UK are negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Talks for FTA between India and the UK started in 2022 and the 12th round of negotiations took place from August 8-31 this year.

The India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was launched in 2021 along with the India-UK Roadmap 2030, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. The Roadmap is a commitment to a partnership that delivers for both countries.(ANI)

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Defence Ministry Inks Deal for 6 Coast Guard Patrol Vessels

According to the Defence Ministry, the acquisition of these major ICG platforms is aimed to boost the ICG’s capability and reinforces the increased focus of the Government towards Maritime Security…reports Asian Lite News

The Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with Mazagon Dockyard Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL), Mumbai, on December 20, 2023, for the procurement of six Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPVS) for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).

“The contract was made under the Buy (Indian-IDDM) category at a total cost of Rs 1614.89 Crore. Out of the six vessels being procured, four would replace the existing ageing OPVs and the other two would augment the ICG fleet,” the Defence Ministry said.

According to the Defence Ministry, the acquisition of these major ICG platforms is aimed to boost the ICG’s capability and reinforces the increased focus of the Government towards Maritime Security.

These modern and high-tech Ships will play a critical role in enhancing surveillance, Law enforcement, Search and Rescue, Maritime Pollution Response, and other important capabilities including humanitarian assistance by the ICG, the statement said.

Ministry said that along with several high-tech advanced features and equipment, these 115m OPVS would be equipped with Multipurpose Drones, AI capability, and Wirelessly Controlled Remote Water Rescue Craft Lifebuoy, etc. enabling greater flexibility and operational edge to the ICG to face new age multidimensional challenges.

These Multi-role State-of-the-Art vessels will be indigenously designed, developed, and manufactured by MDL, Mumbai, and will be delivered in a total period of 66 months.

“The contract achieves the objectives of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ to boost the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding capability, bolstering maritime economic activities and fostering the growth of ancillary industries, especially the MSME sector,” the ministry said. (ANI)

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Defence Ministry Okays 6,400 Rockets for Pinaka Weapon System

The Indian-made Pinaka weapon system, named after the bow of Hindu god Shiva, has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation…reports Asian Lite News

In a major boost for the Indian Army, the Defence Ministry has approved a Rs 2,800 crore proposal for buying around 6,400 rockets for Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher systems.

The Defence Ministry’s Defence Acquisition Council’s recent meeting had cleared the proposal for the acquisition of two types of these rockets, known as Area Denial Munition Type 2 and Type-3, defence sources told ANI.

The rockets would be procured by the Indian Army from indigenous sources only and two main contenders include the Economic Explosives Limited of Solar Industries and the Munitions India Limited– one of the ammunition-producing companies created by the corporatisation of the erstwhile Ordnance Factories, they said.

The Indian-made Pinaka weapon system, named after the bow of Hindu god Shiva, has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

The weapon system is one of the first few Indian military terms to have been exported to foreign countries, including Armenia.

Private sector companies involved in the project include Larsen & Toubro, Tata Defence and Economic Explosives Limited.

have set up production lines for the Pinaka system that are being supplied in bulk to the armed forces.

As part of larger artillery modernisation plans, the army has a requirement of 22 regiments of the Pinaka MBRL.

Pinaka regiments of the Indian Army include launchers with automated gun aiming and positioning systems and command posts.

The trials of the Pinaka rockets have also been conducted recently by the forces in Pokharan firing ranges in Rajasthan and multiple successful test firings have been carried out during these tests. (By Ajit Dubey/ANI)

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Defence Acquisition Council Approves Rs 2.23 L Cr Worth Proposals

For the purpose of calculation of Indigenous content, cost of Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC)/Comprehensive Maintenance Contract (CMC)/After Sale Service shall be excluded…reports Asian Lite News

The Defence Acquisition Council, under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday, accorded approval for Acceptance of Necessity (AoNs) for various capital acquisition proposals amounting to Rs 2.23 lakh crore.

Of the total, acquisition worth Rs 2.20 lakh crore (98 per cent) will be sourced from domestic industries.

“This will give a substantial boost to the Indian Defence Industry towards the aim of achieving the goal of ‘Aatmanirbharta’,” a defence ministry statement said.

The council has accorded the AoN for procurement of two types of Anti-tank Munitions namely, Area Denial Munition (ADM) Type – 2 and Type-3, which are capable of neutralising Tanks and Armoured personnel carriers and enemy personnel.

To replace the Indian Field Gun (IFG), which has completed its service life, AoN for procurement of state-of-the-art Towed Gun System (TGS) has been granted which will become a mainstay of Artillery forces of Indian Army.

The AoN was also accorded for 155 mm Nubless projectile for use in 155 mm Artillery guns which will enhance lethality and safety of the projectiles. All these equipment of the Indian Army will be procured under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category.

The AoN for procurement and integration of Automatic Target Tracker (ATT) and Digital Basaltic Computer (DBC) for T-90 Tanks under Buy (India) category have also been accorded which will help in maintaining combative edge of T-90 tanks over adversary platforms.

The AoN for procurement of Medium Range Anti-Ship Missiles (MRAShM) for surface platform of Indian Navy under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category has also been accorded. The MRAShM is envisaged as a lightweight Surface-to-Surface Missile which will be a primary offensive weapon onboard Indian Naval Ships.

In addition, the DAC accorded AoNs for procurement of Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) for Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Army and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk 1A for IAF from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category. The AoNs have also been accorded by the DAC for upgradation of Su-30 MKI Aircraft indigenously from HAL.

While procurement of these equipment will provide enormous strength to the IAF, acquisition from domestic defence industries will take the indigenous capability to a new height. It will also reduce dependability on foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) substantially.

Further, the DAC has accorded approval for a major amendment in the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020. It has been decided that henceforth, in all categories of procurement cases, minimum 50 per cent of indigenous content shall be in the form of material, components and software that are manufactured in India.

For the purpose of calculation of Indigenous content, cost of Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC)/Comprehensive Maintenance Contract (CMC)/After Sale Service shall be excluded.

Also, the DAC has taken decision to further encourage start-ups/MSMEs participation in the defence ecosystem. For all procurement cases with AoN cost upto Rs 300 crore, registered MSMEs and recognised start-ups will be considered for issue of Request for Proposal (RFP) without any stipulation of financial parameters, which can further be relaxed with approval of Defence Procurement Board (DPB) for AoN cost upto Rs 500 crore on case-to-case basis. (ANI)

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