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New Delhi, March 18, 2020
The newly-formed Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved the procurement of 83 indigenous Tejas fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Defence Ministry said today.
Consequent to the separation of duties between the Department of Defence (DoD) and Department of Military Affairs (DMA), the first meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was held with the Acquisition Wing being the Secretariat of the DAC.
It is expected to lead to better coordination and faster processing of cases with the Acquisition Wing being in the overall charge of the capital acquisition process.
Tejas, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), indigenously designed by Aircraft Development Agency (ADA) under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), will be the backbone of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the future, the release said.
While orders of 40 Tejas aircraft had been placed with HAL in initial configurations, DAC paved the way for procurement of 83 of the more advanced Mk1A version of the aircraft from HAL by finalising the contractual and other issues, it said.
The proposal will now be placed for consideration of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). This procurement will be a major boost to 'Make in India' as the aircraft is indigenously designed, developed and manufactured with participation of several local vendors apart from HAL, the release added.
The Defence Acquisition Council also accorded approval for the acquisition of indigenous Defence equipment for about Rs 1,300 crore. The proposals were for procurement of Aerial Fuses and Twin-Dome Simulators for Hawk Mk32 aircraft for the Indian Air Force.
The DAC approved an amendment to the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 to enable review by a Costing Committee of bids submitted by Joint Ventures of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs)/Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)/DRDO from whom procurement of Defence items is undertaken on a nomination basis. This will bring about more transparency in costs and compress the timelines for negotiation of the contract.