Offensive Defence

Defence ministry walks the ‘Atmanirbhar’ talk

The Ministry of Defence today signed contracts worth Rs 2,580 crore with Indian companies for supplying six regiments of Pinaka Multi Barrel Launch Rocket Launchers (MBLRS) for the Indian Army.

The contracts for the six Pinaka Regiments will include 114 Launchers with Automated Gun Aiming & Positioning System (AGAPS) and 45 Command Posts to be procured from Tata Power Company Ltd and Larsen & Toubro. The MoD will also buy 330 vehicles from defence public sector Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML).

It has taken the MoD four years to formally place the orders for these six regiments. The proposal was cleared in November 2016 by the Defence Acquisition Council headed by then defence minister Manohar Parrikar. Sources say the contracts were ready for the past two years but not signed because of a funds squeeze within the MoD and bureaucratic delays. Bids were issued to the companies in early 2018 and concluded in the last quarter of 2018. It took over one and a half years after that for the contracts to be processed and approved.

“This is a significant order as it establishes that the army is walking the talk in accepting Indian systems to fight future wars with Indian solutions,” says Jayant D. Patil, whole-time director and senior executive vice-president for L&T’s defence business.

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