As concerned citizens of India many of us often ponder as to how important it is for India to modernise its defence forces. There are media reports on how our defence forces are not adequately prepared as the previous Congress led UPA Government did not do much to foster indigenisation of research and development and also the previous government was hit by procurement scandals.
Here it should be noted that modernisation of Armed Forces is a continuous process based on threat perception, operational challenges and technological changes to keep it in a state of readiness to meet the entire spectrum of security challenges.
The equipment requirements of the Armed Forces are reflected in the planning process which includes 15 year Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP), five year Service-wise Capability Acquisition Plan and two year roll-on Annual Acquisition Plan. Capital Procurement of Defence equipment is carried out as per Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).
Measures taken to modernise defence forces:
A number of measures have already been taken to achieve Self Sufficiency in defence production by harnessing the capabilities of the public and private sector. These measures include according priority and preference to procurement from Indian vendors, liberalisation of the licensing regime and providing access to modern and state-of-the-art technology to Indian industry by raising the cap on FDI in the defence sector.
The new Defence Procurement Procedure 2016 (DPP 2016) has been promulgated for Capital procurements and has come into effect from the 1st of April 2016. DPP 2016 gives strong support to "Make in India" by according the highest priority to Buy Indian (Designed, Developed and Manufactured) (IDDM).
It also focuses on enhancement and rationalisation of indigenous content and includes provisions for involving private industry as production agencies and technology transfer partners. The 'Make' Procedure has been simplified with provisions for earmarking projects not exceeding development cost of Rs. 10 crores (government funded) and Rs. 3 crores (industry funded) for MSMEs.
During last three years, 94 contracts have been signed with Indian vendors with cumulative value of Rs. 82,979.70 crore for capital procurement of defence equipment for the Armed Forces such as Aircrafts, Helicopters, Tanks, Missiles, Radars, frigates and Simulators.