Sunday, March 1, 2015

DAC Meet Feb 2015

DAC Meet Feb 2015

The Indian Airforce Pilatus PC 7 MK II

       With the new government taking over the ruins right from the start has shown renewed interest in bolstering the nations security. The government has also realized if India needs to keep its boat sailing with China always playing in its backyard the answer lies in bolstering the armed forces. Strengthening the armed forces is surely going to go long way in being deterrence against any attacks against India. With the situation demanding newer and newer technology with every passing day the government has focused towards the international market to work with the Indian based companies to help manufacture mean machines. 

      The DAC, set up in 2001 as part of the post-Kargil reforms in defence sector, approves the long-term integrated perspective plan for the forces, accords acceptance of necessity (AON) to begin acquisition proposals, and has to grant its approval to all major deals through all their important phases.It also has the power to approve any deviations in an acquisition, and recommends all big purchases for approval of the Cabinet committee on security. the Defence minister heading the council assisted by the MoS for Defence , Chief of Staff’s , Defence secretaries and the chief of ISC.

       The DAC was chaired by Minister of defence Manohar Parrikar today in Delhi. The major decision taken today would be to procure MCMV from South Korea. The DAC has made a total turn around. The last DAC meet had deferred this procurement sighting the role of Korean suppliers in dealing with third parties to secure the deal. The decision also involves to procure C 130J, Pilatus PC 7.

Lockheed Martin C 130 J

         The first major clearance given by DAC was for orders to be placed for C 130 J Super Hercules aircraft by the Lockheed Martin. Though the order is not of huge numbers it significantly boosts the capabilities of the IAF. IAF has used the C 130 J for special forces support and with a C 130 J meeting a very unfortunate crash last year the numbers had dwindled last year. DAC has now cleared for acquiring a single C130 J Super Hercules aircraft. This would now fill the void which was created after the last year’s crash. The order is worth around INR 500 crores .     

Pilatus PC 7 

Having an array of training aircrafts for imparting the basic skills of flying a jet is the common practice throughout the world. Usually countries maintain an array of trainers classified as Basic Trainer Jets, Intermediate Trainer jet and Advanced Trainer Jets. But IAF has followed a completely different pattern for years. IAF has with recent acquisition of the AJT in form of HAWK can boost of a very advanced training course. But the problem lies deep down, IAF has very few numbers of Basic Trainer and negligible number of Intermediate Trainer Jets. To fill the void of the Intermediate Jets HAL is now trying to field the HJT 36 Sitara. But the factor of placing a Basic Trainer Jet has been a long unsolved problem. With repeated request and clearance received for Pilatus PC 7 the DAC has given a nod for the acquisition. Pilatus PC-7 is manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft, Switzerland. the Indian Air Force has selected the Pilatus PC-7 MkII trainer. An initial order of 75 was made to Pilatus Aircraft. The contract was formally signed on 24 May 2012 between the Ministry of Defence, India and the Pilatus Aircraft. With the Air force pushing for these jets the DAC for procuring BTJ the DAC has now given its consent to the deal. IAF currently operates about 60 Pilatus PC 7 which were manufactured by Pilatus. HAL has also made ground breaks in developing a BJT for IAF also in plans to develop such BJT for IAF. Instead of the requested 175 aircrafts the DAC has now cleared a purchase of only 38 Pilatus PC7’s and this may forge ways to soon see a HAL manufactured Basic Jet Trainer HTT 40 being inducted into IAF.

Minesweeper for Navy 

INS Aleppy a Pondicherry Class Minesweeper

       The Indian navy had requested for a number of projects. Ranging from Submarines to Air craft carriers. But the urgent need was felt much lighter vessels which were extremely important. The Minesweeping and Mine lying vessels had taken high priority and the DAC has given its final go-ahead for the program.

       By the end of last year he “ Defence Ministry” scrapped the tender raised to induct about 8 MCMV to the force. The tender to acquire two minesweepers from Kangam South Korea was scrapped sighting involvement of foreign interests. But dwindled numbers has now forced DAC to clear the deal and then further the MCMV. The Indian navy even now operates Pondicherry class MCMC. The government has now signed the deal for acquiring about 8 MCMV’s. 2 from imported directly from South Korea. While 6 other would be built in GSL under ToT. With the Kangam facing alleged bribes prompted the Ministry to cancel the order for the MCMV from South Korea. The Mine counter vessels are of tremendous help to the navy. These vessels are going to be of lot of help for the navy. These MCMV’s ensure the path of Ships is having no mines laid out in their path. Which will prevent the Ships being hit by Mines. The Indian Navy alarmed about the aging Counter mine vessel had stressed upon the deal. DAC has now cleared about $5 billions, 12 MCMV’s have been cleared by the DAC.

   Sources close to the Ministry have for now the US 2i deal with Japan on hold. The US 2i is a SAR Amphibious Aircraft. The ToT was requested and the DAC is waiting for additional information from the maker Shinmaywa.

     The Avro Replacement program which was recently signed between Russia and India has found no mention in the current meet.

 Editor Karthik Kakoor

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