Army to procure artillery howitzers, 3 Indian vendors selected: A K Antony

A K AntonyA K Antony (AP)

Army is planning to procure 100 self-propelled artillery howitzers and three Indian vendors, including two private companies, have been selected for trial of their equipment, Defence Minister A K Antony told the Lok Sabha today.

In a written reply to the House, he also said the recent amendment to Defence Procurement Procedure-2011 aims at giving higher preference to indigenous capacity in the defence sector.

"A case for procurement of 100 tracked guns of 155mm/52 calibre (self-propelled) is in progress wherein three Indian vendors, including two private sector companies, have been selected for trials of their equipment," Antony said.

In reply to a question on procurement of bullet proof jackets for soldiers, Antony said no such jackets were procured during the last three years.

"The Request for Proposal (RFP) for procurement of 1,86,138 bullet proof jackets has been issued on December 7, 2012," he said.

Antony also told the House that the entire fleet of Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) is being modernised on basis of the operational requirement of the Army.

"In the ICV fleet, armament and firepower capability are being upgraded with the latest generation Fire Control System, Twin Missile Launchers and Commander's Thermal Imaging Panoramic sights. These ICVs will also be equipped with the latest generation Anti Tank Guided Missiles and Automatic Grenade Launchers," he said.

Antony said the estimated cost of upgrading the fleet has been estimated to Rs 8,000 crore.

On procurement of 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for IAF, he said the proposal is at commercial discussion stage with France-based Dassault Aviation.

"Given the complexity of the proposal, no definite time frame can be fixed at this stage," Antony said, adding that RFP stipulates delivery of 18 flyway aircraft within three or four years of signing of the contract.

Rest of the 108 aircraft will be license manufactured in India.

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