The new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP-2016) was unveiled on 28 March 2016 by the Raksha Mantri, Shri Manohar Parrikar at the inaugural ceremony of the Defence Expo (Defexpo)-2016 at Quepem town, about 50 km from Panaji. DPP-2016 aims to ensure transparency, fast-track acquisitions and to lend a push to the “Make in India” initiative. To be applicable from April, it lays the roadmap on how India will acquire defence equipment in future. A key chapter on strategic partnership is yet to be added to the DPP which will take another 2 to 3 months to finalise.
As per the Raksha Mantri, the policy is open to review. “I do not say the document is foolproof. Let us take a review after six months. Nothing is perfect, but we are taking it to perfection,” he said, adding that the DPP could push the agenda of “Make in India” and help in establishing a defence industrial base.
DEFENCE MANUFACTURING SET TO GROW
Speaking at an interaction between between private investors and naval officers, the CNS, Admiral RK Dhowan said “…the navy has outlined its science and technology roadmap for next 15 years and has shared it with the industry, underlining nearly 100 sets of technologies which are to be absorbed in our warships and submarines. The blueprint of the future of Indian Navy is firmly anchored in self reliance and indigenisation and I think this partnership with the Indian industry, both public and private, will ensure that our future warships, submarines and the aviation sector will be 100 percent made in India”. The CNS called for increased private investment in defence manufacturing, stating that India is capable of producing the world’s best warships and submarines and that the navy would provide all the support to MSMEs (micro, small, medium enterprises) in research, design and development of weaponry.
The above sentiments were echoed by NITI Ayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant. “If manufacturing has to grow, defence manufacturing has to be the driver. Without defence manufacturing, India can never grow in double digit and sustain growth trajectory for long”, he said, adding that licences for 125 defence manufacturers have been cleared in the last 15 months and that the private manufacturers would be treated at par with the public sector units, so that they get a level playing field to compete and win contracts in India.
As per the CNS, India has achieved about 90 per cent indigenisation in the float components of a warship, enabled largely by the fact that warship seals are being designed and developed by the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and are being manufactured in the country, with even the aircraft carrier Vikrant, being built in Kochi, having an Indian seal. In the move components, India has achieved 60 percent indigenisation, where it was building the propulsion and auxiliary machinery. The CNS also spoke of the huge opportunity of indigenisation and partnering with the public and private sector in making main gas banks, which are the primary requirement for the main propulsion and auxiliary propulsion and said that the navy was expecting foreign assistance in manufacturing pipe components of the warships which comprises weaponry and sensors.