This programme was a sincere effort by the MoD to walk the talk on participation of the private industry in defence manufacturing. The success or failure of this programme will have a long lasting effect on MoD’s efforts to strengthen the defence industrial base in the country.
The avro replacement is not a design and development programme which will involve extensive use of the airfields for test flights. It is an aircraft that is already flying and will be built as per the OEM’s specifications that will go into manufacture of the aircraft in India.
The services will have no option but to reduce the allocation under the heads where the impact is not immediately visible: maintenance of infrastructure, purchase of spares for maintenance of equipment, procurement of ammunition, etc.
Several issues have been raised in the last one year, one such issue concerns the need for amending the policy to enable the MoD to demand offsets in specific area(s) rather than being driven by the vendors.
The MoD is possibly of the view that allowing foreign companies to set up manufacturing and assembling facilities in India will stymie the growth of indigenous design and development activities.
The objective of the TPCR is to give an opportunity to the Indian industry to draw up business plans for developing technologies which could be transformed into capabilities required by the armed forces.
The temporary abeyance of ‘services’ as a valid means of discharging the offset obligation could prove to be exasperating for the foreign vendors and the prospective IOPs.
Buy (Indian)’ the most important policy decision introduced through DPP 2013 suggests that it should be the first option or the most preferred category. It, however, gives rise to many questions.
Defence acquisitions are always much debated and scrutinised. The criticism ranges from a lack of direction in procurements to needles procedural complexities and from corruption in defence deals to bureaucratic apathy. The Defence Acquisition Council, chaired by the Defence Minister, has taken some bold and much needed decisions on April 20, 2013 in an attempt to address some of these issues.
FY 2013-14 has transited into the annals of the MoD but picking up a few messages from it and carrying forward the unfinished agenda to the next year would be the greatest tribute to the year gone by.