For 10 long years during UPA rule, India had witnessed near zero efforts on acquisition of critical defence equipment. This had a cataclysmic impact on the defence preparedness of India’s armed forces. Why UPA was lackadaisical in its defence acquisition approach is a matter of debate. But one of the greatest achievements of the Modi Govt has been to kick-start defense acquisition programs and boost not just the defence preparedness of the nation but also improve the morale of the armed forces. One has to remember that no nation’s armed forces can fight wars with empty cartridges. Executing a massive modernization program of a humongous armed force not modernized for a decade is a major challenge but the Modi Government took up the challenge and it has started showing results. Here is a select list of defense deals cleared by the Modi Government.
Major Defence Deals given final go-ahead by PM Modi led Cabinet Committee on Security in the last three years:
1. Rs 4500 crore contract for 100 Self Propelled Artillery to be made by L&T in India.
2. Rs 5000 crore contract for 145 M-777 Howitzers to be made by a consortium of M&M and BAE Systems
3. 12 additional Dornier 228 aircraft for Indian Navy for maritime reconnaissance.
4. Orders cleared for 32 Dhruv helicopters with special maritime capabilities for Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard (16 each) for Rs 8,000 crore.
5. Emergency purchase of 50,000 Bullet Proof Jackets for Indian Army. More to follow
6.Orders given worth Rs 20,000 crore for acquisition of critical ammunition for shoring up of war wastage reserves.
7. Govt sanctions acquisition of 83 additional LCA Tejas MK-1A in addition to the 40 ordered before. The total order of LCA Tejas goes up to 123.
8. Govt sanctions Rs 1000 crore for HAL to shore up its production capacity of LCA TEJAS from 8 to 16 per year.
9. Goa Shipyard given an order for the construction of 12 Minesweepers for Indian Navy at a cost of Rs 32,000 crore.
10. Approval given in 2015 for the construction of 7 next generation stealth frigates and 6 nuclear powered submarines for Indian Navy.
11. Follow on orders given for the acquisition of 4 additional P-8I Poseidon Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft in addition to 8 acquired earlier.
12. Contracts signed for acquisition of 36 Dassault Rafale Combat Aircrafts for Indian Air Force.
13. Final Deals signed for procurement of 22 Apache-64 Longbow combat helicopters.
14. Final deals also signed for 15 Chinook tactical transport helicopters for Indian Air Force.
15. Deal worth Rs 17,000 crore cleared by PM led Cabinet Committee on Security for development of a next generation MR-SAM ( Medium Range Surface to Air Missiles) for Indian Army in collaboration with Israel. Collaboration to be between DRDO and Israeli Aircraft Industry (IAI).
16. Orders given to Hindustan Shipyard Ltd for construction of 2 Midget submarines for MARCOS of Indian Navy.
17. Modi Govt has also given the final go ahead to the Indian Army for induction and deployment of a fourth Brahmos regiment at a cost of Rs 4300 crore consisting of 100 missiles with ‘trajectory manoeuvre and steep-dive capabilities”
18. L&T given orders for construction of 7 Offshore Patrol Vessels for Indian Coast Guard at a cost of Rs 1432 crore
19. Reliance Defence given orders for construction of 14 fast patrol vessels for Indian Coast Guard at a cost of Rs 916 crore.
20. Inter-Governmental Contract signed with Russia for 4 frigates and five S-400 Triumf Air Defence Systems.
21. Proposal cleared for purchase of 10 Heron TP Missile armed Drones from Israel
22. In 2015, Indian Air Force signed a contract with HAL for acquisition of 14 Dornier -228 for light transport purpose.
23. Contract given to Israeli Aerospace Industries for $630 million for additional Barak 8 missiles for Indian Navy ships.
24. Predator guardian HALE drones for surveillance being acquired for 2 billion dollar from US
25. Deal signed for anti tank spike missiles with Israel for 1 billion dollar
Many more deals have been cleared by Defence Acquisition Council but not yet by Cabinet Committee on Security. They are under consideration and would be given consent in due course of time.