Acquisition Plans of the Indian Navy
The Indian Navy has plans to induct several items to improve its core-competence and power projection abilities in its area of responsibility. Among the major items of acquisition planned are 24 new MH-60R anti-submarine helicopters, 10 advanced P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft (both from the United States via the Foreign Military Sales route), 111 naval multi-role helicopters and new submarines (6) as Project 75(i).
The acquisition of the defense hardware from the United States is expected to cost over 5 billion dollars and the files will have to be cleared by the Defense Acquisition Council for approval.
What is the Navy buying?
- MH-60R which are used to track and destroy submarines will be acquired by the Indian Navy to improve its submarine destroying abilities. These helicopters can operate either from the ships or from land-bases.
- The P-8I is advanced long-range patrol aircrafts used to perform scouting in a large area of responsibility. The order of the P-8I is a follow-up order by the Indian Navy as 12 aircrafts had been acquired in an earlier deal in deals of 8 aircraft and 4 aircraft respectively.
- The deal for 111 naval multi-role utility helicopters (NUH) is the first one to be processed under the ambitious strategic partnership (SP) model. The SP model is meant to promote domestic private sector participation in defense manufacturing (in/without collaboration with foreign experts). While three foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) have responded, eight Indian companies have expressed interest in participating in the tender.
- The submarines are being acquired to as Indian submarine force is falling rapidly. In an earlier order, the government has ordered 6 Scorpene Submarines from France which are being manufactured in India.
Defense Acquisition Council(DAC)
The DAC is headed by the Union Minister of Defense of India ( currently Shri Rajnath Singh). It had been constituted to ensure that defense acquisitions were processed expeditiously and fairly. The functions of the DAC include granting principle approval authority for 15 years long-term integrated perspective plans for defense forces, addressing the issues of the single vendor clearances, evaluate transfer of technology/ Buy-&-Make and decide on the offset proposals in the defense deals.