NEWS/ POLICY UPDATES
The United States, Russia, France and Israel are among the countries that India plans to import the weaponry from.
India is looking at sourcing from Israel the Firefly loitering ammunition, Spike anti-tank guided missiles, Spice guidance kits that can mounted on standard bombs to convert them into smart weapons and an operational surface-to-air missile system as a 2017 order worth $2 billion for such advanced systems to take down hostile aircraft and missiles hasn’t translated into deliveries yet, the officials said.
Israel has been a reliable military partner and has stood by India, said Air Marshal KK Nohwar (retd), director general, Centre for Air Power Studies. “Israel has always given us niche technologies in areas of electronic warfare systems and weapons systems that were not readily forthcoming from other countries,” Nohwar said.
The government has authorised the armed forces to process cases for buying urgently-needed weapons and equipment worth up to Rs 300 crore to meet their critical operational requirements. The decision was taken at a special meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council — India’ apex procurement body — on July 15 to fast-track key purchases.
From raising FDI in defence manufacturing to creating a separate budget for buying locally-made military hardware and notifying a list of weapons/equipment that cannot be imported, the government in May announced a raft of measures to boost self-reliance in the defence sector.
In early July, the defence ministry approved the purchase of weapons and ammunition worth Rs 38,900 crore. The cost of military hardware cleared for purchase from the domestic industry is pegged at Rs 31,130 crore and the orders are expected to give a push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (Self-Reliant India Movement).