Defence Ministry identifies 18 platforms for industry-led development

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India’s Defence Ministry on Friday identified 18 major platforms, including drones, for industry-led design and development.

Under the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020, ‘Make’ Category aims to achieve self-reliance by involving greater participation of Indian industry.

Projects involving design and development of equipment, systems, major platforms or upgrades thereof by the industry can be taken up under this category. For Projects under Make-I sub-category, Ministry of Defence will provide financial support up to 70 per cent of total cost of prototype development.

The ministry has identified hypersonic glide vehicle, directed energy weapons (300 KW and more) (high-powered electromagnetic devices and high-powered laser devices), naval shipborne unmanned aerial system (NSUAS), light weight tank, self-healing mine fields, unmanned autonomous AI-based land robot, 127 mm naval gun, 127 mm guided projectile, electric propulsion (engines) for ships, standoff airborne jammer, Li-ion Cells/Li-Sulphur Cells (portable high-capacity energy systems replacing the conventional hydrocarbons, communication system (AFNET system switches, routers, encryptors & VOIP phones), electro optical (EO) pod (with subsequent upgrade to EO/IR) with high resolution sensing and ‘Plug and Play’ housing/infrastructure for soldiers posted at extreme altitudes, a statement said.

Under SPV model, private industry will be encouraged to take up design and development of military platforms and equipment in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and other organisations.

The ministry has identified two platforms — long-range unmanned aerial vehicles (high altitude long endurance) and Indian multi-role helicopter — under this category.

Projects of startups, MSMEs and others involving high-end innovation would be pursued under the iDEX category. The ministry has selected low orbit pseudo-satellites under this category.

Under Make-II, which is funded by industry with assured procurement, the ministry has listed anti-jamming Systems for multiple platforms.

Out of 18 major platforms mentioned above, four platforms have been already accorded approval-in-principle (AIP) under Make-I category on March 3. They are communication system (AFNET system switches, routers, encryptors & VOIP phones), EO pod (with subsequent upgrade to EO/IR) with high resolution sensing, standoff airborne jammer, and lightweight tanks.

The indigenous development of these projects will help harness the design capabilities of the domestic defence industry and position India as a design leader in these technologies, the statement said.

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