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Special Content


Issue no 44, 28 January - 03 February 2023

Indian Armed Forces Get ‘Make in India’ Boost

A formidable military, armed with advanced technology and modern weaponry, serves as a shield for a nation, protecting it from external aggression and internal turmoil. It reflects the country's military prowess and its ability to defend its sovereignty. In today's global scenario, it is imperative for countries to constantly upgrade their military equipment and surveillance systems. India too, must strive to build a strong and well-equipped military force to fortify its security, intelligence and territorial integrity. In light of the current geopolitical landscape, it is imperative for India to assert its autonomy in the region. To safeguard its border regions, India must not only possess modern defence equipment but also the strategic autonomy to acquire and maintain such equipment. A selfreliant defence industry would not only enhance India's defence capabilities but also bolster the nation's economy. With this strategy, over the years, India's capital expenditure in defence budget is increasing, and within that, the percentage reserved for indigenous procurement has also been increasing. In financial year 2021-22, the government overachieved its target of indigenous defence procurement and utilised 65.5% (vs. budgeted target of 64%) of capital acquisition budget (i.e. Rs 74,015 crore of revised budget of Rs 1.13 lakh crore) on procurements through the Indian industry. For FY23, the government has allocated 68% of the defence capital expenditure budget (i.e. Rs 84,598 crore) for domestic procurement. It has till now released lists of over 650 defence items slated to be manufactured locally, which include Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Tanks, Vehicles, Submarines, Missiles, Satellites, Corvette, Radars, Avionics etc. As per government estimates, orders worth Rs 7 lakh crore are likely to be placed in the next five to seven years as part of these items. With this strategy, over the years, India's capital expenditure in defence budget is increasing, and within that, the percentage reserved for indigenous procurement has also been increasing. In financial year 2021-22, the government overachieved its target of indigenous defence procurement and utilised 65.5% (vs. budgeted target of 64%) of capital acquisition budget (i.e. Rs 74,015 crore of revised budget of Rs 1.13 lakh crore) on procurements through the Indian industry. For FY23, the government has allocated 68% of the defence capital expenditure budget (i.e. Rs 84,598 crore) for domestic procurement. It has till now released lists of over 650 defence items slated to be manufactured locally, which include Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Tanks, Vehicles, Submarines, Missiles, Satellites, Corvette, Radars, Avionics etc. As per government estimates, orders worth Rs 7 lakh crore are likely to be placed in the next five to seven years as part of these items Let us look at some of the recent 'Make in India' category of weapon systems and equipment inducted/ordered by the Indian armed forces, propelling India's vision to be self-reliant.

·         INS Vikrant - Red letter day for 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat': India's first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant was commissioned by the Prime Minister at Cochin Shipyard Limited in September 2022. The commissioning showcased the country's growing prowess of indigenous manufacturing and a major milestone in the path towards 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat'. With 76% indigenous content, the 262.5m long and 61.6 m wide, ship is equipped with stateof-the-art equipment and systems (a fully-fledged state-ofthe-art Medical Complex with the latest medical equipment facilities that include major modular OT, emergency modular OT, physiotherapy clinic, ICU, laboratories, CT scanner, X-Ray machines, Dental complex, Isolation ward and telemedicine facilities etc.), designed for a crew of around 1,600 officers and sailors. It has a large number of indigenous equipment and machinery, involving major industrial houses in the country as well as over 100 MSMEs. INS Vikrant is the largest ship ever built in the maritime history of India. The carrier is designed with a very high degree of automation for machinery operations, ship navigation and survivability. It is capable of operating an air wing consisting of 30 aircraft comprising MiG29K fighter jets, Kamov-31, and MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters and Light Combat Aircraft Navy. Using a novel aircraft-operation mode known as Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery, INS Vikrant is equipped with a ski-jump for launching aircraft and a set of 'arrester wires' for their recovery onboard.

·         Main Battle Tank-Arjun: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has designed and developed Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun, a multi-disciplinary Armoured Fighting Vehicle, which has already been inducted into the Indian Army. Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) at Avadi, Chennai is the production agency of MBT Arjun. It is a state-of-the-art tank with superior firepower, high mobility, and excellent protection. The MBT Arjun Mk-1A has been designed & developed by Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), along with other laboratories of DRDO within two years (2010-12).

·         The superior armour-defeating capability of the indigenously developed Fin Stabilized Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS) ammunition and 120 mm calibre rifled gun give MBT ARJUN an edge over contemporary world tanks. It is a computer-controlled integrated fire control system that incorporates day-cum-night stabilised sighting system which guarantees a very high first-round hit probability and reduced reaction time to bring effective fire on targets.

LCH 'Prachanda': In a big boost to self-reliance in Defence, Prachanda-Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), was inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Jodhpur in October 2022. The LCH is the first indigenous Multi-Role Combat Helicopter which has potent ground attack and aerial combat capability. It possesses modern stealth characteristics, robust armour protection, formidable night attack capability, and crash-worthy landing gear for better survivability. Onboard advanced navigation systems, guns tailored for close combat and potent air-to-air missiles make the LCH especially suited for the modern battlefield. It is capable of operating from high-altitude terrain and carrying out precision strikes at high-altitude targets. Prachanda meets the requirements of modern warfare and necessary quality parameters under varied conditions of operations. It is capable of self-protection, carrying a wide variety of ammunition and delivering it to the field quickly. This versatile helicopter perfectly meets the needs of our armed forces in various terrains and as such LCH is an ideal platform for both our Army and Air Force. The LCH is furnished with a glass cockpit which accommodates an Integrated Avionics and Display System (IADS) and has an array of multifunction displays in conjunction with the onboard target acquisition and designation systems. Prachanda is the only attack helicopter in the world which can land and take off at an altitude of 5,000 metres, with a considerable load of weapons and fuel. The LCH can perform a range of roles, including combat search and rescue, destruction of enemy air defence and counter-insurgency operations in the jungle and urban environments. LCH Prachanda is a testimony to India's growing prowess in indigenous design, development & manufacturing and a significant milestone in the path towards 'AtmaNirbharta' in Defence.

·         Missile Destroyers/ Frigates: The Raksha Mantri launched two frontline warships of the Indian Navy - 'Surat' and 'Udaygiri' - at Mazagon Docks Limited, Mumbai in May 2022. 'Surat' is the fourth StealthGuided Missile Destroyer of the P15B class, while 'Udaygiri' is the second Stealth Frigate of P17A class. Project 15B class of ships are the next-generation stealth guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy which are follow-on class of the weapon-intensive P15A (Kolkata Class) Destroyers. P17A Frigates are warships that are a follow-on class of the P17 (Shivalik Class) Frigates with improved stealth features, advanced weapons & sensors and platform management systems. Both warships have been designed in-house by the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built at MDL, Mumbai. Among the most technologically advanced missile carriers in the world, the warships will cater to present as well as future requirements. Y-12705 (Mormugao), the second ship of Project 15B, was delivered to the Indian Navy in November 2022, while the fifth Stealth Frigate 'Taragiri' of P17A was launched in September 2022. P15B destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, seakeeping and manoeuvrability. Enhanced stealth has also been achieved, making the ships difficult to detect. With a significantly increased indigenous content, P15B destroyers are a hallmark of selfreliance in warship design and building, and a shining example of AatmaNirbhar Bharat. Taragiri has been indigenously designed with state-of-the-art weapons, sensors, an advanced action information system, an integrated platform management system, world-class modular living spaces, a sophisticated power distribution system and a host of other advanced features. It is also fitted with a supersonic surface-to-surface missile system.

·         Diving Support/Survey Vessels: Two Diving Support Vessels (DSVs), Nistar and Nipun, built by Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL), Visakhapatnam, were launched in September 2022. DSVs equipped with an array of complex Diving Support systems and Deep Submergence Rescue Vessels are being deployed for deep sea diving and submarine rescue operations. The ships are also capable of conducting Search and Rescue operations and carrying out Helicopter Operations at sea. They were launched by achieving approximately 80% indigenous content, a major step towards selfreliance. Indigenously designed and built at HSL, these ships are a true testimonial to 'AatmaNirbharta'. They are selfsustaining platforms which can operate at sea for prolonged durations. This project was being executed with support from Indian industry primarily MSME firms who have supplied Yard material, equipment and services. HSL extensively used the GeM portal for procuring material and services for the project.

·         'Ikshak', the third of the four Survey Vessels (Large) (SVL) Project, being built by GRSE/L&T for the Indian Navy was launched in November 2022 in Chennai. The ship has been named 'Ikshak' which means 'Guide'. The ship has been named to signify the contribution of the Survey ships towards facilitating safe passage for Mariners at Sea. SVL ships will replace the existing Sandhayak Class survey ships with newgeneration hydrographic equipment to collect oceanographic data. With a capability to carry four Survey Motor Boats and an integral helicopter, the primary role of the ship would be to undertake full-scale coastal and deep-water hydrographic surveys of ports and navigational channels. The ships would also be deployed for collecting oceanographic and geophysical data for defence as well as civil applications. In their secondary role, the ships are capable of providing limited defence, besides serving as hospital ships during emergencies.

·         ICG-Offshore Patrol Vessel: In a significant development aimed at bolstering the maritime security of the nation, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) commissioned 'Saksham', the fifth Coast Guard Ship in the series of 105 M-Class offshore patrol vessels, in March 2022. 'Saksham', which means 'capable', is a manifestation of ICG's will and commitment to the 'Yatra, Tatra, Sarvatra' adage towards the maritime interest of the Nation. The ship displaces approximately 2,350 tons (gross registered tonnage) and is propelled by two 9,100 KW diesel engines to attain a maximum speed of 26 knots. Saksham has an endurance of 6,000 nautical miles at an economical speed. The state-ofart offshore patrol vessel uses totally indigenous steering gear and gearbox, which were earlier imported. The ship has been designed and developed by Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) for Coast Guard and is fitted with advanced technology navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machinery. Entirely designed in-house by the professionals of GSL, Saksham will form a formidable part of the Coast Guard Fleet and be used for the protection of the Exclusive Economic Zone of territorial waters of the nation. The ship is designed to carry a twin-engine helicopter and four high-speed boats including two inflatable boats for boarding operations, search & rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol. The ship is also capable of carrying limited pollution response equipment to contain oil spills in the seas.

·         Def Expo 2022:  The 12th and largest-ever defence exhibition, DefExpo 2022, - marked the emergence of India's defence industry as a sunrise sector for investment on the global scale. DefExpo 2022 was the first-ever edition exclusively for Indian companies. Indian companies, Indian subsidiaries of Foreign OEMs, Division of companies registered in India, exhibitors having joint venture with an Indian company were considered as Indian participants. The theme of 12th DefExpo was 'Path to Pride', which is in line with the Prime Minister's vision to transform India into a strong and selfreliant nation by supporting, showcasing and forging partnerships for the Indian Aerospace and defence manufacturing sectors with Indian as well as global customers. The event showcased the might of the domestic defence industry which is now powering the 'Make in India, Make for the World' resolve of the Government and the nation at large.

Compiled by: Annesha Banerjee & Anuja Bhardwajan Source: PIB/DRDO/Invest India