Multiple Deals Signed by Indian Armed Forces Under Emergency Procurements, Includes Heron Drones, Spike ATGM, Hammer Missiles

Army Modernisation

New Delhi: The Indian Army has signed over 70 capital acquisition deals worth nearly Rs 11,000 crore in the EP-4 tranche from September 2022 to September 2023. The IAF inked 65 contracts worth over Rs 8,000 crore. The Navy, meanwhile, signed 35 deals worth Rs 4,500 crore in this timeframe, sources said. The first three tranches of deals were signed with countries like Russia, Israel and France, and the last EP-4 was reserved for procurements only from domestic manufacturers.

The armed forces have signed contracts worth Rs 23,500 crore in just the past one year to plug critical operational gaps amid the continuing military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh, according to a report. These contracts were signed under emergency capital procurements.

The emergency procurements (EPs) include a wide array of missiles and remotely-controlled weapons, loiter and precision-guided munitions, drones and counter-drone systems, satellite and other communication systems, surveillance equipment and radars, personal protection gear and all-terrain and high-mobility reconnaissance vehicles, Times of India reported.

“The revenue EPs, which are substantial, are separate. EPs followed a fast-track procedure. They are different from big capital acquisition cases that follow the normal long-winded procurement procedure,” a defence establishment source said, media reports said.

The EPs included French ‘Hammer’ air-to-ground precision-guided munitions for the new Rafale fighter jets and Israeli ‘Heron’ Mark-2 unmanned aerial vehicles and ‘Spike’ anti-tank guided missiles.

Overall, the Army has signed 140 contracts worth Rs 17,500 crore under the capital EP mechanism. Taking note of the operational utility of drones and AI-enabled drones in the recent conflicts from Armenia-Azerbaijan and the Russia-Ukraine war, Army spent close to Rs 1,500 crore for 14 projects on drones and counter-drone systems in first three EP tranches. Another Rs 2,000 crore was then spent on 10 more such projects in EP-4.