Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), in a meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday, accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for capital acquisition proposals worth approximately ₹7,800 crore.

To enhance the capability of the Indian Air Force, the DAC has granted AoN for procurement and installation of electronic warfare (EW) suite, a self-protection system that guards against missile and other weapons attack, on Mi-17 V5 helicopters under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category which will enhance better survivability of aerial platform, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced.

The EW suite will be procured from defence public sector undertaking (PSU) Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), the Ministry stated. Last year also, BEL was contracted to supply EW suits for IAF fighter jets.

The DAC has also accorded AoN for procurement of Ground-Based Autonomous System for mechanised infantry and armoured regiments which will enable various operations like unmanned surveillance, logistic delivery of ammunition, fuel and spares and casualty evacuation in the battle field.

Proposals for procurement of 7.62x51 mm Light Machine Gun (LMG) and Bridge Laying Tank (BLT) have also been given a go ahead by the DAC, said the ministry. The proposed acquisition of the LMG is in addition to more than 16,400 IWI Negev, which is a 5.56×45mm NATO LMG developed by Israel Weapon Industries (IWI), Army acquired in 2021.

While induction of LMG will enhance fighting capabilities of infantry forces, the induction of BLT will result in faster movement of mechanised forces, the MoD explained.

According to the Ministry, the AoN for procurement of ‘ruggedised laptops’ and tablets for the Army under Project Shakti, which is for Combat Command Control and Information (C31) systems, has also been accorded. All these procurements will be sourced from indigenous vendors only to give fillip to Aatmanirbhartha in defence sector.