India has approved weapon purchases worth 28,732 crore, including armed drone swarms, carbines, and bullet-proof jackets that will be designed and developed in the country, the Union ministry of defence said on Tuesday. This is a significant step toward Prime Minister Narendra Modi's goal of self-reliance in the defence manufacturing sector.
The front-line soldiers stationed around India's borders, including the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, where the two nations have been engaged in a tense standoff since May 2020, would use the close-quarter carbines.
At a meeting presided over by defence minister Rajnath Singh, the defence acquisition council (DAC), the top body in India for purchasing weapons, gave the capital acquisition proposals its acceptance of necessity (AoN). AoN by the council is the initial step in the military equipment purchase process in India.
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The Defence Ministry said in a statement, "Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for Capital Acquisition Proposals of the Armed Forces amounting to Rs 28,732 crore was accorded by the DAC in this meeting under Buy (Indian IDDM) and Buy (Indian) categories giving a further boost to 'Atma Nirbharta' in Defence."
It further added, "Considering the demand of enhanced protection against the threat of enemy snipers to our troops deployed along the Line of Control, and in close combat operations in counter-terrorism scenario, DAC accorded AoN for bulletproof jackets with Indian Standard BIS VI level of protection."
In light of the fact that drone technology is proving to be a force multiplier in military operations and recent conflicts around the world, the acquisition of autonomous surveillance and armed drone swarms was approved to strengthen the army's capability in modern warfare, defence ministry said in a statement.