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NEW DELHI(PTI): At a time when the Indian Army faces a pressing requirement of weapon modernisation, it has decided to go off the beaten path to reach out to manufacturers within the country.
Sources said that the Army is planning to hold day-long workshops at regional industrial hubs like Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and others where it would explore how best to get the domestic defence sector companies cater to its requirements.
This is going to be unconventional because hitherto, the industry is engaged in procurements once a decision has been finalised at the Army headquarter level in Delhi and successively by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which is the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) highest decision-making body that clears proposals.
“In the new measure, the Army plans to pursue its procurements through a bottom’s up approach,” said a person privy to the ongoing talks in this regard between the Army and industry, on the condition of anonymity.
As part of this bottom’s up approach, it is being proposed that the Army would be, for instance, more than happy to lay bare before the industry, its weaponry limitations and technological gaps in counter-insurgency operations and then let the industry respond with their corresponding capabilities, another source corroborating the above said.
The move caters to the twin requirements – one, of allowing the rather anxious home-grown manufacturers, especially the MSMEs, to ride the Make in India bandwagon and two, sharper decision making on Army’s weapon and technological needs by involving the industry at the initial stages itself.
Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag recently announced to institute an in-house design bureau that shall work in sync with DRDO and ordnance factories to achieve Army’s modernisation and indigenisation programme in line with the Make in India thrust.
“The security environment facing the nation is becoming more complex and dynamic. I have told all army commanders to do a security audit. Further, in our efforts to fastrack technological progress, a new Army design bureau is being set up,” he said.