Government Taking Measures for Modernisation of Armed Forces; LS told


New Delhi: Government is taking measures for modernisation of the Armed Forces through procurement of new equipment and upgrading of existing equipment so as to ensure that they are equipped to meet the entire spectrum of security challenges, Lok Sabha was told on March 11.

The modernisation projects are progressed as per the approved Capital Acquisition Plans and in terms of the extant Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said.

During the last three years and in the current year, 197 contracts have been signed for capital procurement and upgradation of defence equipment for Armed Forces such as Missiles, Aircraft, Artillery guns, Assault Rifles, Radars, Rockets, Helicopters, Weapons, Simulators, Ballistic Helmets, Bullet Proof Jackets and Electronic Fuses and Ammunition.

The Budget Allocation and Expenditure under Capital Budget Head under Defence Services Estimates for 2019-20 up to January 2020 was Rs 1,03,394.31 crore and Rs 91,862.97 crore respectively.

The Minister said 132 scientists left DRDO during last five years on personal grounds.

Government has taken various policy measures to promote new and innovative defence production projects under the “Make in India” programme.

The ‘Make’ Procedure has been simplified with provision for funding of 90 per cent of development cost by the Government to Indian industry and reserving Government funded Make-I projects not exceeding development cost of Rs 10 crore and procurement cost Rs 50 Crore per year for MSMEs. The Industry funded Make-II Projects not exceeding development cost of Rs three crore and procurement cost of Rs 50 crores per year have also been reserved for MSMEs, the Minister said.

The Expert Group under the Chairmanship of B K Chaturvedi, the then member, Planning Commission constituted by the government for restructuring and strengthening of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) had recommended setting up of an Aerospace University.

A Detailed Project Report (DPR) on establishment of Aerospace University was prepared by a HAL-established Society named ‘Society for HAL Aeronautics Research & Technologies Institute’ and approved by HAL Board.

After deliberation in their 409th Board Meeting held on February 2, 2018, HAL has decided that they cannot consider setting up an Aerospace University, even in collaboration with the other organisations like DRDO, Private Industries.

An amount of Rs 90,048 crore has been proposed for Capital Acquisition (Modernisation) in BE 2020-21 under Defence Services Estimates which is an increase of Rs 9,088.92 crore over BE 2019-20 allocations. The total amount allocated for Capital Acquisition (Modernisation) is 27.87 per cent of Defence Services Estimates.

No official data relating to China’s Defence modernisation is available in this Ministry, the Minister said.