IN A bid to ensure the country’s self-reliance in defence, the Indian Army has signed contracts worth Rs 40,000 crore with indigenous defence manufacturers, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General B S Raju said on Saturday.
Lt Gen Raju, in his address to Army commanders, said henceforth, the “Acceptance of Necessity (AoN)” will only be given to indigenous defence manufacturers, adding that the direction “from the top” was very clear that the country had to fight any future war with indigenous equipment.
The Ministry of Defence grants AoN for a particular weapon system or equipment at the beginning of the procurement process. This is part of the Government’s support to encourage the defence manufacturing industry in the country, which is at a nascent stage. Inaugurating the North Tech symposium, Lt Gen Raju said, “The Indian Army has entered into contracts worth Rs 40,000 crore with the indigenous defence industry during the last two years.”
The Army is working with the defence industry to design and develop over 39 solutions, of which 16 were in the proto-type development stage, he said. In a word of support for the industry, the vice chief said, “You have some experience. We assure you that we will come more than half a distance to meet your aspirations. We
will give you all facilities that are required -- whether it is equipment or testing ranges or our time.”
“We will not ask you for the moon. It will be reasonable, so that we are able to produce. If your equipment meets 80 per cent of aspiration, we are going to give you orders. I assure you,” he added.