The Nirmala Sitharaman-led defence ministry has issued a Rs 10,000-crore tender for acquiring 61 advanced air defence gun systems from local manufacturers under the Make in India programme.
The tender was issued by the acquisition wing of the defence ministry and the 61 Close in Weapon Systems (CIWS) air defence systems would be used to replace the Russian-origin systems, including the L-70 and Zu-23 air defence guns.
“The tender cost would be more than Rs 10,000 crore and prominent indigenous defence firms including Tata Power SED, Punj Lloyd, L&T, Mahindra Defence, Bharat Electronics Limited and the Ordnance Factory Board,” government sources said here.
Under the programme, the Indian companies will have to tie up with foreign manufacturers, who will help them build the weapon systems under the ‘buy and make’ clause of the defence acquisition procedure.
Under the project, the Air Force aims to induct homemade CIWS units within the next seven years and will integrate the systems with air command-and-control systems that perform air traffic and surveillance management functions.
In her last few months in office, Sitharaman has been working on increasing the speed of indigenisation in defence sector last week, a tender was issued to the private sector companies for supplying indigenously-manufactured ammunition to armed forces and she made it more viable by increasing the time period from five years to 10 years.
The minister also pushed the services to accept indigenously-manufactured items as the Air Force recently issued a tender to procure 83 Mk1A LCA combat planes for over Rs 50,000 crore.
She has also opened up the manufacturing of over 143 items manufactured only by the ordnance factories to the other small and medium scale private sector companies and they can produce the non-core items for the armed forces.
By: India Today
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