The Ministry of Defense has decided to change the rules of the DAP to allow private defense companies to collaborate with Indian Defense PSUs with majority ownership and produce the necessary weapon systems.
New Delhi: In a major push towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in the military materiel sector, the Ministry of Defense has decided to amend the Defense Acquisition Procedures (DAP) manual to allow the private sector to collaborate with an Indian Defense Supply Unit with majority ownership and to manufacture the required weapon system.
According to South Block officials, this collaboration will be tested in the development and manufacture of the Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH), which will eventually replace all Russian-built Mi-17 and Mi-8 helicopters in the current inventory of the Indian army. The IMRH will have a take-off weight of 13 tons and will perform with the Indian Armed Forces in air assault, air attack, anti-submarine, anti-ship, military transport and VVIP roles.
It is understood that Indian private sector companies have already shown their willingness to participate in the project, with the Ministry of Defense telling them to start manufacturing within the next seven years. The French Safran has already signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian HAL on July 8, 2022, to form a new joint venture to develop, produce and support the IMRH engine, including the naval variant.
According to officials, private sector companies will also be allowed to export 25% of their production to third countries and generate foreign exchange for the country. The Indian Armed Forces have been invited to purchase the developed IMRH, which is expected to be deployed within the next seven years. The private sector companies have also sought assurances from the Ministry of Defense that the Indian Armed Forces should purchase the helicopter if the product is produced within the next five years advancing the timeline and saving money and hours. of work.
The decision to allow the private sector to acquire a 51% stake and form a joint venture with the Indian PSUs was taken as the latter were unable to deliver within the required time frame, resulting in cost overruns. costs. This delay left the Modi government no choice but to procure the much-needed machinery through competitive bidding or the government-to-government route from other countries.
While the IMRH is expected to be deployed in the next five to seven years, the Indian Navy is expected to receive its first Sirkorsky MH 60R Seahawk anti-submarine warfare helicopters delivered to India by the end of this year. Although the first two to three helicopters have already been handed over to the Indian Navy for training purposes from Naval Station San Diego in the United States, the remaining deliveries of 21 helicopters will soon commence as per the agreement of 2, 3 billion dollars signed in February 2020 by the two Governments.
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