DAC okays procurement of helicopters from HAL, naval system from BEL in deals worth Rs.7,965 crore

Published : November 02, 2021 20:37 IST

HAL's indigenously developed Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). Photo: PTI

In a further impetus to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India), with a focus on design, development and manufacturing in India, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on November 2 accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for acquiring three major systems/products for the armed forces from defence public sector enterprises.

All the three capital acquisition proposals are aimed at serving the modernisation and operational needs of the armed forces. The total value of these deals is Rs.7,965 crore and all acquisitions will be through the ‘Make in India’ route. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will benefit from two of these proposals and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) from the third. The DAC, the Defence Ministry’s highest decision-making body, has accorded approval for the procurement of 12 indigenously designed and developed Light Utility Helicopters (LUHs) from HAL and the procurement of the Lynx U2 naval gunfire control system from BEL. The Lynx U2 naval gunfire control system will enhance the tracking and engagement capabilities of naval warships.

HAL, India’s biggest aviation player, has also been given the mandate for the ‘mid-life upgradation of the Dornier 228 aircraft’. The upgrade will enhance the Dornier’s maritime reconnaissance and coastal surveillance capabilities.

In another boost to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, the global procurement tender for the procurement of naval guns has been foreclosed; the guns being added to the upgraded Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) will now be manufactured by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). The SRGMs provide Indian Navy warships with niche capabilities of engaging fast maneuvering targets using guided munitions and range extensions.

In September, the DAC, as part of procurements worth Rs.11,486 crore from Indian industry, had given its nod for the acquisition of 25 Advanced Light Helicopters Mark III from HAL at a cost of Rs.3,850 crore.

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