Wednesday, May 30, 2012

AerospaceDiary EXCLUSIVE! DPP 2012 holds hope for the private sector- novel plan in the making

Neelam Mathews
May 30, 2012

India’s soon-to-be released Defense Procurement Policy 2012 is to have a major addition in its ‘Make’ clause. It will include the active participation of the private industry which was left out earlier.

The DPP 2011 ‘Make’ procedure was to cover all capital acquisitions of High Technology Complex Systems and upgrades undertaken by indigenous Research, Design and Development. These would be undertaken by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Defense Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Indian Industry and industries identified as Raksha Udyog Ratna (RUR) / Consortia.

In 2010, MoD scrapped its plan to nominate leading defense players from the private sector RURs, leaving the space open only  for the DPSUs.

Interestingly, there is soon to be released a pilot project for each of the three services which will be open only to the private sector that will give a boost to the industry. A meeting (the second of its kind) is being held at the MoD next week to take this further. As part of an effort to replace India’s 56 ageing Avros, bids will be invited soon from OEMs willing to fully transfer technology to an Indian company to develop the platform in India. “The whole line will have to be shifted,” says an MoD official. The projects will have active participation of the service and MoD in the design and development.

Similarly, the Indian Navy will fulfill its requirement for speedboats and the Indian Army for towed guns (this could not be confirmed by Aerospace Diary).

On Oct 5 last year, Aerospace Diary had filed a report (Exclusive! IAF Chief calls Industry’s Bluff- Is the industry taking the bait?) in which the Indian Air Force Chief NAK Browne had dared the Indian industry to put its money where its mouth is by getting involved in the indigenization program to replace its aged 56 Avros.

“The model we are proposing is to buy a few and license manufacture the rest in India…This is the first time it ('Make' India) will be open to the private sector…We do not require more than 56…the (40-50 seater) project can cater to the civil aviation market (to become viable),” said Browne.

The MoD wants the same requirements of Avros to be maintained in the replacement. Those that are expected to be in the fray include Alenia's C-27J and EADS CASA 295. Ruag, too could be be a contender. The AN-32 (provided turboprop is not specified) weighs only 6 tons , while the others are 9-10 tons. The minimum requirement is 8 tons.

So, should the nitty gritties be ironed out, hold your horses- there’s a race to be won!

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