Defence Acquisition Council’s Plans | 09 Mar 2021

Why in News

Multi billion deals for armed drones from the USA and advanced submarines under Project-75I are to be taken by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).

Key Points

  • India - USA Drone Deals:
    • India has been looking to procure 30 armed drones, 10 for each service, from the USA but the process has been repeatedly delayed over the last couple of years.
    • While the Navy has a pressing requirement for the High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drones, there have been questions on their utility for the Army and Air Force, given the high cost of the platform.
      • Since the stand-off with China in Eastern Ladakh in May 2020, the need for long endurance drones to maintain continuous surveillance of the border has been acutely felt.
    • The Navy has already inducted two MQ-9B Sea Guardian unarmed drones procured from the USA.
  • Project-75I:
    • The Project 75I-class submarine is a follow-on of the Project 75 Kalvari-class submarine for the Indian Navy.
    • The project is being processed through the Strategic Partnership (SP) model of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).
      • The strategic partnership model seeks to identify a few Indian private companies as Strategic Partners who would initially tie up with a few shortlisted foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to manufacture big-ticket military platforms.
      • It aims to promote the role of Indian industry in defence manufacturing and build a domestic defence industrial ecosystem.
    • This project is part of the 30 year Plan for indigenous submarine construction and it got its approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security in 1999.
      • The idea behind this was to help in streamlining the submarine acquisition process and creating two submarine production lines where the plan was to construct six submarines on each.

Defence Acquisition Council

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) is the highest decision-making body in the Defence Ministry for deciding on new policies and capital acquisitions for the three services (Army, Navy and Air Force) and the Indian Coast Guard.
  • The Minister of Defence is the Chairman of the Council.
  • It was formed, after the Group of Ministers recommendations on 'Reforming the National Security System', in 2001, post Kargil War (1999).

Source: TH