Major ‘Make In India’ Defence Deals On Centre’s Agenda Post-Elections

Several crucial ‘Made in India’ defence deals / projects, including the procurement of additional K-9 Vajra self-propelled howitzers and fighter aircraft engines, are set to be on the Centre’s agenda for final approval following elections.

Initially planned for approval in March this year, these projects were postponed until after the elections.

The defence public sector undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) would be involved in the production of these engines, which are valued at around Rs 20,000 crore.

HAL manufactures these engines for the Su-30 MKI combat aircraft at its facility in Koraput, Odisha, incorporating a high degree of indigenization.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) regularly procures these engines for their planes, but the requirements have accumulated due to the pandemic and other geo-political developments.

Several defence research and development programs by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are also in the pipeline for clearance and final approval by the government.

The Centre had cleared projects to buy 61 close-in weapon systems and high-powered radars in its last meeting before the announcement of the model code of conduct came into force.

The defence ministry and the army, navy along with the Indian Coast Guard have also given their proposals to the government for inclusion in the 100 days and the 6-month agenda.

Top government officials have made it clear that the work will proceed swiftly after the election process is completed.

Major indigenous deals, such as the Rs 65,000 crore program for 97 LCA Mark 1A aircraft, are also in progress.