In a major boost to the Centre’s plans for domestic defence manufacturing, the defence ministry on Friday signed an agreement with the state-run Bharat Dynamics Ltd [BDL] to acquire 4,960 anti-tank guided missiles, costing ₹1,188 crore, for the Indian Army.
The defence ministry said the missiles can be fired from ground as well as vehicle-based launchers. They have a range of 1,850 metres and the government is planning to induct them within the next three years. The missiles are being produced by BDL, a defence PSU, under license from French defence major MBDA Missile Systems.
“These missiles can be fired from ground as well as vehicle-based launchers and can be deployed in anti-tank role for both offensive and defensive tasks,” the ministry said while adding that the induction of these missiles will further enhance operational preparedness of the armed forces. “Induction is planned to be completed in three years,” it added.
The agreement is a ‘Repeat Order’ of contract, which was signed with BDL on March 08, 2016, the government said. The ministry has finalised a range of procurement projects in the last few months to enhance the overall combat capabilities of the three forces.
Besides providing a boost to the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, the project will be a step in the direction of achieving the goal of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in defence sector. It will also be a big opportunity for the defence industry to showcase its capability.
In its efforts towards the goal of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in this sector, the defence ministry had earmarked a massive 64 per cent of its modernisation funds under capital acquisition budget for 2021-22, for domestic players, while pursuing big-ticket projects, like Tejas and AK-203 rifles, under the Make in India scheme.
Related news | Modi pitches to cut down on imports in defence sector