Almost all defence orders will now go to domestic industry: Indian Army Vice Chief

World Materials 9 May 2022 05:12 (UTC +04:00)
Almost all defence orders will now go to domestic industry: Indian Army Vice Chief

The Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) in future for almost all weapons and equipment will be given to the Indian industry, Vice Chief of Army Lt Gen BS Raju said this while inaugurating the North Tech Symposium in Udhampur on Saturday, Trend reports citing The Indian EXPRESS. “Future wars need to be fought with indigenous equipment,” he said.

An AoN is accorded by the Defence Ministry for a particular weapon system or equipment at the beginning of the procurement process.

Over 150 Indian companies participated in the symposium, showcasing the technologies they have on offer to the Indian armed forces.

Addressing the participants, Raju said, “Hereafter, the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) will only be given to indigenous defence manufacturers. We will come more than half a distance to meet your aspirations. We will give you all the facilities that are required, whether it is equipment, testing facilities, and, most importantly, our time.”

Raju told the industry members that the Army will “not ask you the moon” and the Preliminary Service Quality Requirements (PSQRs), the requirements that an equipment or weapon needs to meet, “that we are going to give are going to be reasonable so that you are able to produce”. He said if the industry can meet 80 per cent of “our aspirations, then we will go ahead and issue orders”.

He later told journalists that the Army is working on making the PSQRs simpler. Army’s strict PSQRs have been a cause of lament by many industry members.

Speaking about the kind of technology the Army is looking for, Raju said, “We need drones of all kinds which are able to do persistent surveillance, carry payload, carry ammunition to the place of choice, secure communication, medical equipment, troops on ground need good habitat and so on.”

The move is part of the government push to encourage the country's nascent defence industry and to wean off dependence on foreign weapons, as India is one of the top importers in the world in this segment. Indian Army has entered into contracts worth Rs 40,000 crore with the Indian industry in the last two years. Army's immediate requirement is equipment of surveillance, especially drones, and mountaineering gear and clothing for high-altitude.

Speaking to a few journalists, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi later said there are two immediate requirements that the Army is looking for. “The immediate requirements are what we were exporting from outside. And where we feel that the enemy has a technology which we need to counter. These are the two major criteria,” he said.

Lt Gen Dwivedi said the Army is looking for domestic alternatives to Special Clothing and Mountaineering Equipment (SCME), and surveillance equipment, such as drones. He said “because this technology is evolving every day, so whatever we are doing, the adversary is able to find a counter to it. We have to again look for a counter”.

Dwivedi said that these technologies are being developed internationally, but “by the time they come here, they are obsolete, if I can say. Therefore, it is imperative for us to develop these technologies in India, so that we are also able to evolve and graduate to a higher level, in conjunction with what the adversary is doing, or even better than that”.