Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) Current Affairs - 2019

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Defence Acquisition Council meet

On October 21, 2019, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh chaired the Defence Acquisition Council. The objective of the council is to ensure expeditious procurement to meet the requirements of the armed forces.

Highlights of the meet

  • The Council approved a capital procurement of Rs 3300 crores for indigenously designed and developed equipment for the Defence forces
  • It also approved 3 projects that are to be indigenously designed, developed and manufactured. This is a part of Make in India initiative
    • The first two projects include ATGM-Anti Tank Guided Missile and APU-Auxiliary Power Units for T-72 and T-90 tanks. These 2 projects are to be progressed under Make II category. It will also provide boost to the private sectors
      • The third generation ATGM will provide “Fire and Forget” and “Top Attack” capabilities to the Indian forces in the battle field
      • The APUs will upgrade the Fire Control Systems and Night Fighting capabilities in the tanks.
    • The third project pertains to discrete Electronic Warfare (EW) systems. This project is for mountains and high-altitude terrains. These systems are to be designed and developed by DRDO

AKASH-1S Missile: test fired by DRDO

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test fired Akash-1S surface to air defence missile system from Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Balasore off the Odisha coast. This is the second successive successful missile test by DRDO in last two days.

About Akash-1S

Background:

  • The Akash missile is a medium range multi-target engagement capable missile that was developed as part of Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). Other missiles under IGDMP are Nag, Agni, Trishul, and Prithvi missiles. The missile system was formally inducted into the Army on May 2015 and in the IAF on July 2015. Later in September 2015 the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared seven additional squadrons of the Akash missile for IAF.
  • After a 2017 Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report stated that 30% of these missiles failed when tested and in 2017 itself the Army too agreed that missiles did not meet its operational requirements because of their higher reaction time.

Features

  • It is a supersonic surface to air missile with multi-target engagement capability.
  • Akash-1S is an upgrade version of existing Akash missile fitted with an indigenously developed seeker.
  • The new Akash weapon system has combination of both command guidance and active terminal seeker guidance.
  • Range: The missile has a range of about 25 km and altitude range of 18,000 metres (18km).
  • It is capable of neutralizing advanced aerial targets and in striking down enemy fighter jets and drones effectively.
  • Missile system uses: high-energy solid propellant for booster and ramjet-rocket propulsion for sustainer phase thus is said to be highly mobile.
  • Variants: include Akash MK1, Akash-MK2. They have improved accuracy and higher ranges are under development by the DRDO.

Way Forward

  • India taking certain steps to slowly fill the holes in its air defence elements such as by developing advanced surface-to-air missile called ‘Medium Range Surface to Air Missile’ (MRSAM) in collaboration with Israel.
  • Besides MRSAM, India is also procuring five regiments of renowned S-400 air defence system from Russia whose delivery will begin in 2020.