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Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Tuesday has granted three important Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) approvals under the capital acquisition proposals. AoNs approved by the DAC chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh are of an overall cost of Rs 13,700 crore, which apart from the Main Battle Tanks (MBT) Arjun Mk 1A includes various weapons/platforms/equipment/systems required by the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

The Ministry of Defence in its official statement said, “Three Acceptance of Necessities (AoNs) for an overall cost of Rs 13,700 crore were accorded.” All these AoNs are in the highest priority category of Defence Acquisition viz ‘Buy Indian- Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured (Indian-IDDM)’, added the MoD.

All these acquisition proposals will be indigenously designed, developed and manufactured. These will include inter-alia platforms and systems designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Elaborating on the approvals a senior officer told, “(The) AoN includes 118 Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun Mark 1A of an overall cost of about Rs 8350 crore and the protection and countermeasure systems for Armoured Fighting Vehicles valuing around Rs 5000 crore.” The Army will now be placing the orders.

MBT Arjun started with two regiments (124) in 2010 as MBT Arjun Mk 1. MBT Arjun Mk 1A is an improved version. Work to accommodate further improvements to the tank is going on, sources said. 

Talking about the improvements an officer said, “In addition to 57 minor refinements Mark-1A has also there are 14 Major Upgrades over Mark-1 including four improvements in firepower to hit the enemy, six in the mobility section and four in survivality section so that it can defend and survive for long (sic).”

In the weapons segment, improvements include Auto Target Tracker, Commander Panoramic Sight, Remote Controlled Weapon System, Improved Muzzle Reference System while in the mobility section the improvements come in form of Advanced Land Navigation System, Driver’s Night Sight, Track Width Mine Plough against the minefields, Advance Running Gear System.

Explosive Reactive Armour, Laser Warning and Counter Measure System, Containerised Ammunition Bin and Roof Mounted Driver’s Seat are improvements for longer survival.

The tank has been designed and developed at the Chennai-based Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Avadi will be producing it after receiving the order from the Army.

To meet the Atmanirbhar Bharat goals of the Government on the time-bound defence procurement process and faster decision making and to systematically work towards reducing the time taken for capital acquisition, the DAC also approved that all capital acquisition contracts (delegated and non-delegated) other than D&D cases shall be concluded in two years.

The Ministry, in consultation with the Services and all stakeholders, will come up with a detailed plan of action for achieving the same.