Indian Armed Forces Procure Rs 23500 Cr Military Equipment under Emergency Capital Procurements

The Indian Armed Forces have signed contracts worth around Rs 23,500 crore under emergency capital procurements in past one year to plug critical operational gaps, particularly amid the ongoing standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.

Notably, all of these contracts fall under the category of Emergency Capital Procurements (EPs) and cover a wide range of weaponries and defence equipment including a wide array of missiles and remotely-controlled weapons, remotely-controlled weapons, precision-guided munitions, drones, counter-drone systems, communication apparatus, surveillance technology, radar systems, personal protective gear, and all-terrain and high-mobility reconnaissance vehicles.

Worth mentioning the emergency financial powers were granted to the Armed Forces by the Indian Defence Ministry for the first time after the 2016 Uri terror attack, followed by the 2019 Balakot air strikes and the 2020 standoff with China in Eastern Ladakh.

Under this, the defence services could procure weapons systems up to Rs 300 crore at a time on a particular item, on an urgent basis without any further clearance to cut short the procurement cycle.

To be noted that the capital EP mechanism is spread across four tranches (EP I to IV) and right now EP IV was being processed by the Indian Armed Forces.

During the period from September 2022 to September 2023, the Indian Army signed over 70 capital acquisition deals amounting to nearly Rs 11,000 crore under the EP-IV tranche.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) inked 65 contracts worth over Rs 8,000 crore, while the Navy signed 35 deals worth Rs 4,500 crore.

Following schemes were executed under Phase IV:

  • 6-7 schemes costing around Rs 1300 crores for Weapon systems.
  • 7-8 Projects costing Rs 1300 crore for protective equipment.
  • 9 to 10 schemes allocated almost Rs 1500 crore for Intelligence, Reconnaissance, and Surveillance.
  • About 10 projects of Rs 2000 crore were reserved for Drones and counter drones.
  • More than 12 projects costing approx Rs 1800 cr for Communication and non-communication equipment.
  • About 25 projects of Rs 3100 crore were used for projects on Survivability and Training.

These above-mentioned EPs were executed through a fast-track procedure.

Interestingly, unlike the first three tranches that also saw deals with countries like Russia, Israel and France, the last EP-IV was reserved for procurements only from domestic manufacturers.

Among the notable acquisitions, the armed forces procured French ‘Hammer’ air-to-ground precision-guided munitions for their new Rafale fighter jets. Additionally, they acquired Israeli ‘Heron’ Mark-2 unmanned aerial vehicles and ‘Spike’ anti-tank guided missiles.

Also worth mentioning that the Indian Army has signed the highest number of contracts (around 140 contracts) worth Rs 17,500 crore in total through the capital EP mechanism which is spread across four tranches (EP I to IV).

Besides, it is to be noted the Army allocated approximately Rs 1,500 crore for 14 drone-related projects alone during the first three EP tranches.

While, an additional Rs 2,000 crore was allocated for ten additional projects in EP-IV.