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Defence Acquisitions: Modernisation and Indigenisation go hand in hand

NASAMS

Ever since 2014, national security has been one of the top priorities of the Narendra Modi Government. One of the cornerstones to ensure national security is to ensure our armed forces have the best of weapons and defence equipment, so that they can perform their duties to the best of their abilities. In 2019 alone, government brought and inducted a whole range of defence equipment’s and systems, ranging from Rafale fighter jets , American Sig Sauer assault rifles to the INS Khanderi Submarine. Not only is the government focused on buying the best of defence systems but also on making them indigenously here in India.

2020 has also begun on the same note, with the government buying the most modern equipment and also promoting defence manufacturing and indigenization of weapons systems, with a special focus on defence corridors. Events like DefExpo to promote defence manufacturing are only becoming bigger every year. As PM Modi remarked during his address to the recently concluded DefExpo, the focus in on “Make in India, For India and For the World”.

Top Notch Air Defence System to be Brought

Government of India is moving ahead with purchase of National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II(NASAMS-II), which is a multi-layered missile defence system. This came out amidst the news of the US government notifying its Congress of the impending sale of an NASAMS-II integrated air defence weapon system (IADWS) to India for 1.86 billion dollars.

NASAMS-II is a network-centric short to medium range ground-based air defense system. It will be part of the overall air defence shield for the national capital territory of Delhi, which will include the indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) shield.

NASAMS-II will be used as part of the overall missile shield around New Delhi along with the Russian S-400 Triumf missile system, Barak-8 missile system which is an Indo-Israeli joint venture, and the indigenous Ballistic missile defense shield which would contain Prithvi and Akash missiles.

The proposed sale will significantly enhance India’s military capability to guard against any 9/11 type of attack, and bolster its air defence system. It will also enable greater interoperability between India and US.

Looking Inward for ATGM Missiles

The Indian Army has kickstarted a process to order new anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) from the Indian industry, preferring the domestic route for over 2,000 missiles, a number that could grow exponentially given its requirements.

The third generation ATGM project, which will replace thousands of Milan and Konours missiles currently in service, is being looked at keenly by the private sector, with some companies in advanced stages of prototype development.

The Army has promised the industry an assured order of 101 launchers and 2330 missiles if the trials are successful. Moreover, it has stated that the potential orders in the coming decade could be ten times this number.

Indian companies like the Kalyani Group and VEM Technologies have already initiated work on the systems, with others like Solar Industries also in the reckoning. Not to be left behind, the state owned BDL, which has manufactured the Milan series of missiles in India, is also ready with an offering. BDL launched its ‘Amogha III’ ATGM at the just concluded DefExpo in Lucknow.

Indigenous World-Class Bullet-Proof Helmet Developed

Major Anoop Mishra of the Indian Army belonging to College of Military Engineering has developed a bullet-proof helmet. This, as per the Army Design Bureau, is the first such helmet in the world that can stop an AK-47 bullet round from a distance of 10 meters. Earlier he had developed a full-bulletproof jacket which can even withstand fire from sniper rifles.

Besides this, Indian Army’s College of Military Engineering in collaboration with a private firm has developed India’s first and world’s cheapest gunshot locator. It can locate the exact location of the bullet from distance of 400 meters, which will help to locate and neutralize terrorists faster.

This comes in the backdrop of Indian manufacturers exporting bulletproof jackets which conform to international norms to over 100 countries including few European nations in 2019.

India is only the 4th country in the world after US, UK and Germany to have its own national standard for bulletproof jackets. Domestic manufacturers have already supplied 1.86 lakh units of these jackets to our armed forces and tenders for further order are underway.

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